Prins Thomas – Prins Thomas
Label : Full Pupp
Cat # / FPCD004
Released: March 2010
Despite a handful of wooly space disco singles on his Full Pupp imprint, in terms of his own output Prins Thomas is still known—if unfairly—as the Robin to Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s Batman in Nordic disco’s super-duo, Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas. The two crafted two of the ever-widening genre’s foundational albums in their self-titled debut and its last year’s follow-up, II. But, even more than through his popular sets, Thomas’ creative sensibility is still best appreciated through his remixes. There are, well, about fifty of them. Each—from keepers like his dizzy strut take on Studio’s “Life’s a Beach” to his almost twenty minute reshaping of Hatchback’s “White Diamond”—seems to bloat ’til the original’s left only the barest of traces on Thomas’ airier offering. His talent is for offering breathing room without losing touch of a track’s core melody or its most essential parts, often suffusing the original the languor and the slow siesta swell. They’re patient epics, beginning with chin-stroking and end in full mad rushes.
On last year’s second album with Lindstrøm though, Thomas’ sense of expansion and the shimmery instantaneity of Lindstrøm’s songcraft dissolved within the duo’s slowly evolving jams. As though the two had difficulty either encouraging or dissuading each others’ best/worst instincts, it was hard for even the most attentive kosmische, Krautrock or cosmic fans to find any point of entry or engagement in the duo’s brainy studio play. Now, the two have split for a while to pursue other projects. Lindstrøm unveiled one of the year’s best with the ’80s pop-disco pastiche, Real Life is No Cool. Prins Thomas, on the other hand, finally hits us with his first album under his own name, the starkly titled/artworked (and, yes, long overdue) Prins Thomas.
Following in the tradition of II, the album’s essentially an extended fuzzbrain jam. But without sacrificing his need for spontaneity from a creative standpoint, on Prins Thomas there are just enough melodic passages to bring the noodlier bits into cohesion as a single work. If II seemed to unspool into a void, here you get a better sense of the shapes and patterns Thomas is forming.
Sliding through the Michael Rother-esque “Ørkenvandring,” the stunning Spaghetti Western guitar breakthrough of “Uggebugg” (see 3:45, one of the sit-up-and-take-notice moments I referred to earlier), or the rambling, Krauty synths of “Slangemusikk,” Thomas incorporates over 40 years of psychedelic beatmusic into these seven lengthy cuts. More directly allusive, “Wendy Not Walter”—a nod to transgender synthesizer pioneer Wendy Carlos on which Lindstrøm offers up some warbly clavinet—sounds closer to the billowy kosmische HPL mastered on 2008′s Where You Go I Go Too. But all of the record’s meandering wouldn’t come into focus without the two tracks which bring it to a close—the crisp star-gazer funk of “Nattønsket” and the morning-glory glide of closer “Attiatte.” Fittingly, both assimilate Thomas’ talent for the slow ascent, so evident in his remixes, with the hirsute, foggy headed jams displayed on the best of his own productions. A best of both worlds of sorts: delightful and still kind of delirious, and arguably a better record than either of those under his better known partnership.
Words / Derek Miller
Published Fri, 02 Apr 2010 on RA
Tracklist: Prins Thomas – Prins Thomas
05. Wendy Not Walter
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