Release Date: Apr 13, 2010
Record label: FULL PUPP
Among certain bearded record collectors, [b]Prins Thomas[/b] is a god. With his fellow Norwegians, [b]Lindstrøm[/b] and [b]‘Todd’ Terje[/b], he forms cosmic disco’s modern holy trinity, without whom there might have been no Horse Meat Disco, no Italians doing it better. His best remixes (see [b]Fredo Viola[/b]’s [b]‘The Sad Song’[/b] or [a]Doves[/a]’ [b]‘Kingdom of Rust’[/b]) are renowned for their controlled drama.
With his first album under the Prins Thomas moniker, after innumerable remixes and a handful of 12-inches, Thomas Moen Hermansen weaves between influences in a way that truly makes the genre tags his work has previously been tethered to (cosmic/space disco) seem forced, convenient, and a little bit silly. Prins Thomas is a record that favors sounds and arrangements that seem more related to 1970s German Kosmische and “Krautrock” -- favoring long builds and hypnotic textures and rhythms that take listeners on a journey -- than any recent trends in dance music. And while he may be asking a lot in confronting listeners with seven long, mostly instrumental pieces, the rewards of entering into the weird, stirring worlds that he creates are worth the price of admission -- namely, letting oneself be overcome.
Prins Thomas has built a reputation as a cosmic disco stalwart through a series of ubiquitously fun remixes, running the Full Pupp label, and his status as Lindstrøm's best bro. In fact, he's been sort of hard to avoid for anyone with even a cursory interest in a Scandinavian electronic scene populated by artists like Rune Lindbæk, diskJokke, and Todd Terje. When Thomas' eponymous debut was announced abruptly in February, there was a sense of inevitability-- a coming-out party for one of nu-disco's premier names.
After a number of collaborations with fellow Norwegian Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and more remixes than Alex Ferguson has trophies, Prins Thomas releases his first full-length solo album of balearic disco. All is dreamy lethargy here, bar the odd outbreak of sequenced squelching, there to remind us that this is electronic dance music and not an experimental Chris Rea side-project. Melody and groove are secondary, and as for conventional song structure – forget it, because everything gets lost in an echoey miasma.
A fascinating album of evocative warmth and unusual spontaneity. Garry Mulholland 2010 The recent upsurge in electronic music isn’t all about auto-tuners and precision-tooled 80s pop revivalism. Out at the synth-driven margins, far less chart-friendly sub-genres have emerged and found a surprisingly large audience. Prominent among these is cosmic disco, or kosmische, a convenient catch-all tag for a music which seeks to revive the prog-electronica of the 70s and 80s – Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre – while adding some much needed dancefloor rhythm to those acts’ much-maligned science fiction-influenced grandeur.