Prins Thomas album cover
Prins Thomas

Prins Thomas

Full Pupp

Prins Thomas’s solo headliner material is typically positioned as the work of someone considered the Art Garfunkel or Parrish Smith of the partnership that made him better-known — a sidekick to Lindstrøm whose own albums aren’t quite as revered, even if people still rightly swear by Thomas’s more collaborative work. But he still deserves to be appreciated for more than just his top-notch remixes and partnerships and DJ sets (which, to be fair, there are a lot of). And there’s an unchallenging yet engaging feel to solo debut-of-sorts Prins Thomas — the “of sorts” meaning he already had a rep to live up to after more than five years’ worth of singles and teamups — that actually makes its accessibility and low-stakes geniality feel welcomingly unpretentious. Sure, the references might be obvious to aficionados — this is one of the most hey, shouts out to Conny Plank albums to come out of this whole Norwegian space-disco wave, right down to the Motorik 101 nu-NEU! of “Sauerkraut” and the Cluster-circa-Zuckerzeit gelatinous boogie synths of “Slangemusikk”— but they’re dropped with a reverence that doesn’t congeal into preciousness. In some ways, it’s the closest that someone from this scene has gotten to capturing the same sense of dance-punk exploration of DFA stalwarts like the Juan MacLean or Holy Ghost!, with guitar-laced cuts like “Nattønsket” and “Ørkenvandring” balancing the post-punk, disco, and krautrock elements of his fusion in a way that plays up just how miles-deep this groove can feel even at midtempo. And “Wendy Not Walter” (as in Carlos) is one of the best progressive-synth-dance cuts to emerge from Thomas’s whole discography, something of a companion piece to his 2005 single “Goettsching” that takes his fascination with E2-E4-informed art-dance into dubbed-out, recursively shifting malleability.  Much of Prins Thomas might fall in an uncanny space somewhere between dancefloor movement and headphone isolation, but even when it sounds familiar, it never feels inert.

Nate Patrin

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