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Lindstrøm | Review

With Smalhans, Lindstrøm returns to the dance floor.
Photograph: Lin Stensrud Lindstrom
By Joshua P. Ferguson |

Whereas many artists stick to a one-album-every-couple-of-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.

“Fa¯ a¯ r-i-ka¯ a¯ l” is a picture-perfect return to form. A journey of spacey and arpeggiated analog synth lines, bass pops and crisp snare hits. It has a back-to-the-future quality to it—not only in that it’s an updated take on the Lindstrøm sound from the “I Feel Space” days, but also because it embodies that retro-future vibe—like an ’80s movie portraying what music in 2012 might sound like.

The entire record feels this way. 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 exercises than it is the epic conceptual feat we saw on 2008’s Where You Go I Go Too or the prog and kraut excursions on Six Cups of Rebel.

Kicking things off with an oversize bass line and a driving beat, “Rà-àko¯-st” offsets its intensity with the type of breezy melody Lindstrøm does so well. “E¸g-ge¸d-o¯sis” 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 palate. 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 me what I was missing from the musical cosmonaut.

Lindstrøm keeps it spacey at Smart Bar on Saturday 13.

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