II album cover
II

Lindstrøm , Prins Thomas

2009
Eskimo Recordings

To listen to any of the three full-length collaborations between Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas is to be disabused of the notion that dance music’s 4/4 insistence doesn’t have space for noodly wandering — that, in fact, the rhythmic depth actually makes those excursions feel exciting. And if their first collaboration in 2005 was a formative statement about how well this stuff could work and how effectively lively they were under the post-Balearic chill-vibe atmosphere, II further emphasizes the techno-organic possibilities of a dance music strain that shrugs at the analog/digital line, one where the resonant bursts and shivers of live drums and the atmospheric melodicism of their piano chords and ambient synths take on the mechanical yet handcrafted feel of a kinetic sculpture. Their dance roots run everywhere here, while also doing right by a psychedelic-pop tradition that puts a Jaki Liebezeit-worthy sense of art-funk groove front and center. The rhythmic heart of “For Ett Slikk Og Ingenting” can be traced to Funk Brothers late ’60s Motown while the yearning, unresolved melodies of its piano-and-keyboard refrain evoke everything from ABBA’s wounded romanticism to Vangelis’s electroclassical grace. “Gudene Vet + Snutt” is pure pastoral acid-folk jamming, as hypnotically immersed in the potential of reverie-as-rock-anthem as anything put out by Beta Band or Super Furry Animals earlier in the decade. And closer “Flue på veggen” unfolds from a rhythm box/acoustic guitar/banjo interplay into a post-rock drone like Miami disco going on a fanboat ride through the 3AM Okefenokee marsh that Tangerine Dream alluded to on Stratosfear.

Nate Patrin

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