Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lindstrøm - Six Cups Of Rebel

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, to give him his full name, has always been one for pushing stratosphere-torn boundaries with his signature concoction of four-to-the-floor spaced-out disco. Following on from the glittery ball compilation of 'It's A Feedelity Affair' and the critically acclaimed journey of ambience, worldly wonders and tapped feet, of 'Where You Go I Go Too', Lindstrøm returns to his charismatic roots of solo outings for his second studio album, 'Six Cups Of Rebel'.

Looking primarily from the viewpoint of the track-listing and the accompanying lengths, the album comes off as being somewhat of a bridge between the two former releases - not as individualized and spread across as Feedelity, yet not as interconnecting and bold as Where You Go...Rather, it's a reconfirmation of the Norweigan's undeniably successful evolution from quiet glows of low-roofed disco halls to the enormity of planet-wide landscapes and fully spanned galaxies. And this is exactly what comes across from out the album's eight compositions of gently-laid ambient electronics and carefully chosen instrumentation.

'No Release' hauntingly dazes back and forth with its initial darting of droned organs, like something of Vangelis' early mock-ups. Only when the pitch-shifted brass adds to the rising tension does the track begin to pick up any form of advance forward. The track, for the majority then, comes off almost weightless in its structure, so too almost unsure whether to remain fixed on ground or set off to the darkening skies above. Maybe not the most decisively-minded opener but the follower 'De Javu' at last provides us with a plotting to which direction Lindstrøm has both his mind and the helm pointing in. Reminiscent of both his early EPs and the 'all-as-one' euphoria of early acid house records, the track hops and skips with a flanger of bass synths and drum beats as rummages of horns and fluttered vocals calling 'DE JAVU' fill the eventful fruitfulness, no doubt, up and out to the stars above.

So if 'De Javu' was narrow and straight-forward in channelling its energy, then 'No Magick' (no doubt) is wider and more billowed in its delivery. Its the icy synths alongside the wobble and rumble of bass that widens this track's reach. But again, here the vocals are a lot more extroverted and without hesitance, that it becomes the benefactor and as a result, gives it an extra dimension of partially-excitement, partially-melancholy emotion. And even without the use of human voices, the track's almost retro deliverance keeps it spread out across this specific plane of listenability.

'Quiet Place To Live' in contrast returns to Lindstrøm's previous confine of classic disco rhythms, a brief expansion of prog-rock-esque jamming soon replaced by 4/4 signature drums - leading the way before a loop of gritty guitars, its directness appearing to sample from that of 'I Feel Space' or 'Grand Ideas' from earlier recordings. The vocals here take a much more direct and concentrated approach to its content, but provide little to no extension on the track's lead rhythm. The following rise of glowing synths that make up the second-half feel almost desperate in their introduction, revitalizing a sound that becomes saturated in what becomes a treading into repetitiveness. The latter half of the album, though not as eccentric and immediate as the former half, maintains the album's elasticity for variety in its composition. Whether it's the glittery thumps of 'Call Me Anytime' - of which is introduced by a somewhat manic mish-mash of sounds I immediately remember hearing from early 90's TV game-shows - or the rolling swagger of 'Six Cups of Rebel', both merely stand in the shadow of album closer, 'Hina'. The ten-minute climax returns to Lindstrøm's familiar territory of out-of-galaxy adventuring, as sparkling synths and rummaged drums lead us through a vast cosmos of dance-fuzed luxury.

For a seven-track album; lasting just a few minutes over the fifty mark and reliant on the listener's personal decipher of sound, it's not surprising that upon finishing the initial hearing - and upon later reflection, you'll realize - you might find that the album may come across as somewhat disjointed and riddled with indecisiveness. But in fact, if you're more than happy to revisit this (and believe me, who wouldn't for literally any album, ever), what you'll see is that Lindstrøm takes his strengths from earlier recordings and mashes it together with witty intrigue. In result, it's like some otherworldly clusterfuck never heard before. But its continuing rhythm and elevatory use of sound makes this not just a great clusterfuck, but a fascinating one at that.


1 comment:

  1. The ten-minute climax returns to Lindstrøm's familiar territory of out-of-galaxy adventuring, as sparkling synths and rummaged drums lead us through a vast cosmos of dance-fuzed luxury.