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Lindstrøm – Six Cups of Rebel

February 6, 2012

Originally posted on The 405

Lindstrøm album

Fidgety Norwegian Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is flying solo once again after a four year absence, following successful yet hugely differing collaborations with Prins Thomas and Christabelle. 2008’s ‘Where You Go I Go Too’ featured just the three tracks (with the longest at 29 minutes), and an LP of a continuos undulating nature that was more an instrumental smooth disco-tastic mix than your traditional album.

Six Cups of Rebel of course sees Lindstrøm coruscating into new bombastic territory as you’d expect, at nearly an hour in length with seven tracks of a wildly disparate nature – very much a departure from the aforementioned album. Despite major label attention, he has chosen to have it released on Smalltown Superstars, a small Norwegian record label of which the techno-Viking Todd Terje also belongs to.

Opener ‘No Release’ is all pure build-up as the faux-church-organs (being as it is MIDI) loop into a crescendo, only for ‘De Javu’ seizing control to a driving Azari & III-esque intro – not too surprising given the shared love of rich retro disco. Let the four-to-the-floor journey commence. A repeated psych-bassline funks its way forward for an all out dance-floor assault, as tribal drums surface, inaudible melodic disco vocals charm with a hybrid of evolving activity present. And this is one of the more normal tracks.

Many of the tracks seep into each other as a continuous beast – such as ‘De Javu’ into ‘Magik’, though at the same time each has a subtle but evident shift at the crossroads and defines the next segment. The kind of thing that once you know the beginning and ends it all makes sense. And once ‘Magik’ appears this is when the album sets its stall-out as a kind of wild, salvia-trip entity that’s impossible to tame.

Launched beyond the stratosphere into the old Space-Disco territory, things get just get plain silly; “What kind of magic do you do?” is repeated over and over for four minutes solid, said with an infinite number of inflections and distorted effects. Infectious and always upbeat, it’s hard not to sport a wide shit-eating grin upon listening. The repetition of a phrase is akin to acid-house (Ecstasy Club), though without the seriousness and dare I say, some of the dullness associated with said genre.

The end of ‘Magik’ propels through a rainbow minefield as the fragmented kaleidoscope confetti fires off into analogue synth heaven WTFuckery, and we get out first break of the album 19 mins in. Exhausting. Fuck subtlety.

It all possess an almost naive ethos full of saccharine moments, though at the same contradictory time it’s all part of Lindstrøm’s astute methodology – noting is left to chance and you know it’s well thought out. The sui generis leftfieldism continues into ‘Quiet Place To Live’ and again, repeated pitch-shifted vocals plead “All I want is a quite place to live”, against a sparse backdrop of drumbeat and bass initially. Though not before an OTT guitar-solo intro, showcasing Lindstrøm’s background in all things guitar-based as a youngster in the 90’s before his switch to disco.

‘Call Me Anytime’ jolts its way through various breaks and moods and ‘Six Cups of Rebel’ wah-wahs its way warmly (and cheesily) to it’s outcome – this is no cold laptop guff here kids. Nostalgic for the 70’s and 80’s heyday of disco, though not something that ever sounds like it could have actually come from there – this is no anachronistic affair.

It’s the kind of album that grabs, almost overwhelms, on first listen, and is also subsequently rewarding even more on further listens as there’s is just a plethora of sounds and styles to gorge on. Even in each individual song. As such some moments work better than others and certain parts fall a little flat; but this brouhaha doesn’t matter all that much as something new will pop into frame any minute. Elective, tenacious, and wildly fun – it’s anything but boring and colourfully pushes the concept of disco to the nth degree, via a brave marriage to the prog world.

7.5/10

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