Friday, February 10, 2012

Lindstrøm - Six Cups of Rebel (2012)


For fans of: Mark E, The Field, Oneohtrix Point Never

With intense funk and progressive interludes, this album is packed to brim with a heavy sound and a deep groove that carries through the whole album. Spacey synths and altered vocals fill out the tracks and keep my attention peaked. Lindstrøm's not making the same music he's made before, he's taking his space-disco into places it's never been and he's doing it with as much finesse as ever. If you can delve into the sugary layers here, you're in for a treat. It's the first great album of the year for me. - Matthew Foster

"Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is back with what's technically only his second "proper" solo album, and it is a feisty one. The unpredictable Norwegian producer seems to be taking some cues here from his labelmates (and sometime-remix cronies), the prog pranksters Mungolian Jet Set; Six Cups of Rebel is chock-full of the kind of bizarre, cartoonish, sci-fi lunacy and cheekily maximalist, gonzo musical odysseys they've made their stock-in-trade. In particular, the album is animated by a virtual armada of goofy, muppet-like voices -- most or all of which are Lindstrøm's own, tweaked and twisted in ways even the Knife might find extreme. It's certainly recognizable as the work of the same artist -- his sense of pacing, patient and playful in equal measure, remains as masterful as ever -- and features a unified, suite-like structure, but this is a far cry from the understated elegance and monumental minimalism of 2008's Where You Go I Go Too. It doesn't start out that way, however. The album opens in relative stillness and solemnity, with a single, spiraling organ figure gradually augmented by swelling, skyward organs, until the sudden rug pull of "De Javu" launches into demento disco mode for the next 20-odd minutes. Here's where the loopy vocal phantasmagoria really holds sway -- from the bluesman yowling "I can't get no release" to a curmudgeonly fellow muttering "All I want is a quiet place to live" to a chorus line of scatting space creatures demanding "What kind of magik do you do?" -- interwoven into a string of strutting mutant dance jams. The less vocally oriented second side embarks on a slippery arpeggio-thon that meanders like a prog-tinted jam session, featuring improvisatory drumming and oblique quotes from "Here Comes the Sun." It passes through the twitchy, zapping acid-funk of the title track en route to the glittery, expansive synthesizer fantasia of "Hina," which comes full circle with a swooning, celestial susurration of voices. It's the first time we feel a satisfying sense of prolonged suspension. The album is in a near-constant state of masterfully sustained harmonic and rhythmic tension. Just when you thought it couldn't possibly last, that swirling organ line reappears like a devilish deus ex machina, and sends the whole thing circling around again." - AMG