Release Date: Jun 9, 2015
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
It didn't seem possible for Prinzhorn Dance School to make their music any more streamlined than it was on Clay Class. Nevertheless, the duo does just that on Home Economics, an album that lives up to its name in more ways than one. Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn used portable equipment that allowed them to record whenever inspiration struck, often in their own houses.
Recorded on the move as the band bounced between numerous flats in their hometown of Brighton in a bid to capture the moment, rather than recreate it, the third album from Prinzhorn Dance School is awash with motion. Six tracks long but never feeling rushed; ‘Home Economics’ is a bolshy swagger through the urban landscape that shaped it. “Do you feel lonely,” ask the duo at the opening of the album, a glimmer of warmth atop the gentle stretch of the pulsating instrumentals.
Their taste for defying trends and musical fashion fickleness continues. Since 2006 when Prinzhorn Dance School got signed to DFA with their minimalist two-piece setup, just Tobin on bass and Suzi on drums, they set themselves aside from everyone on the label and further afield. What was this difference they had created? The difference was and still is within the cleverness of their name that simultaneously references PDS's members and a professor who collected art of the mentally ill.
The UK duo Prinzhorn Dance School have spent years refining a sound that was almost entirely free of excess and impurity to begin with. Their self-titled 2007 debut was an austere ikebana arrangement of bass, drums, vocals, and guitar that felt like an exercise in making a post-punk record out of the fewest number of notes possible. On their next album, 2011’s Clay Class, Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn streamlined even more by removing some of the rhythmic flourishes.
Prinzhorn Dance School's albums never sound as labored as you'd think. Clay Class, the duo's previous release, found Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn spending 260 consecutive days in the studio without ever once leaving, per their own testimony. (They ordered food in.) Beyond meticulous, it's a self-described torturous approach. .
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