III album cover

Lindstrøm , Prins Thomas

Smalltown Supersound

On their own, Norwegian producers Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas were two of the most exciting producers working in dance music since the mid-2000s — purveyors of a sort of ineffable post-genre form best described as “space disco,” a vibe years before everything was considered “a vibe.” Their first two albums as a pairing were so integral to the post-Balearic sense of how to make relaxed yet dynamic body/mind music around the parameters of house, disco, and even kosmische-adjacent prog that it seems almost like an admission of receding trends that it took eleven years to go from II to III — or maybe that it was best left saving their collaborative tendencies for their best ideas. III is something of a slight paring back in that the sense of epic scope has lessened just enough to make their grand ambitions feel a little easier to sink into. But it’s also the case that the breathing room in these six tracks is spacious enough to draw out all their curious melodic details. They continue to nail that still-waters-run-deep internal-voyage dance music atmosphere, elaborately unfolding rhythmic structures that use dance music’s emotional directness as a front to pull some “15 minutes after thinking these edibles ain’t shit" left-field surprises. And while it’s tricky to express exactly what makes these voyages so resonant, it’s just as easy to find that resonance in the first place, especially the intangible codeine-dance refractions of ironically-positioned spacecruiser opener “Grand Finale” or second-half highlights “Oranges” (you’re regaining your Vitamin C) and “Harmonia” (deluxe hausmusik gone midtempo).

Nate Patrin

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