Album Review | Lindstrøm | Smalhans

Smalltown Supersound | Feedelity Records 

house \haus \ n + cos•mic \ käz-mik \ adj + psych \ sîk \ vb 

Whereas many artists stick to a one-album-every-couple-years formula, prolific Norwegian cosmic-house producer Lindstrøm has flipped that script in 2012, quickly following up March’s more adventurous Six Cups of Rebel with Smalhans, a steadfast appeal to the dance floor. Reviewing Six Cups, I wrote that it “left me longing for the space-age house of Lindstrøm on releases past.” It would seem that he too recognized this gap and has filled it here. 

“Fāār-i-kāāl” is a picture-perfect return to form. A journey of analog arpeggiated synth lines, bass pops and crisp snare hits, it has a back to the future quality to it; not only in that it is an updated take on the Lindstrøm sound from the “I Feel Space” days, but also because it embodies that retro-future vibe of the ‘80s. The entire record feels this way really. Recorded in a short one month period with fellow Scandinavian disco talent Todd Terje behind the mixing board, Smalhans is more a series of dance-floor-igniting executions than it is the type of epic conceptual feat we saw on an album like 2008’s Where You Go I Go Too

Kicking off with an oversize bass line and a driving beat, “Rà-àkō-st” offsets its intensity with the type of spacious melody Lindstrøm does so well. “Ęg-gęd-ōsis” prefers to freak the Daft Punk formula with an adopted electro funk bounce. Named after traditional Norwegian dishes, each song is like a recipe fine-tuned for a Lindstrøm lover’s palette. It would have been nice to see the throbbing dance floor pulse so prominent here married with the experimental side of Six Cups of Rebel, but Smalhans more than gives us what we were missing from the musical cosmonaut.

— Joshua P. Ferguson


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