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Lindstrøm - Six Cups of Rebel

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Artist: Lindstrøm

Album: Six Cups of Rebel

Label: Smalltown Supersound

Review date: Feb. 7, 2012


Lindstrøm - "De Javu" (Six Cups of Rebel)


Six Cups of Rebel is one of those records where the artist tosses aside what brought them an audience in the first place. In the case of Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, he drops the cosmic disco he’d perfected, a Scandinavian third way in dance music that stayed clear of the push-pull between U.K. bass and German techno. His hand-me-downs didn’t come from Kingston or Detroit. His disco was specifically glassy and sculpted, like something from an ’80s Italian TV show, and utterly unlike the roughshod thumps of dance-punk. Unlike most fellow digital producers, he incorporated live instruments, often self-played. He also drew his tracks out to delirious lengths, all the way to 30 minutes for “Where You Go I Go Too.”

You’ll find none of that here. Or rather, you’ll find the same techniques used for a completely different effect. Six Cups is a busy, urgent and joyous trip that sidesteps categorization, a feat unto itself in field where new micro-genres are described every few months.

The record traces the unlikely two-degree separation between Parliament, Bernie Worrell, Talking Heads and Brian Eno. That’s all stuff people would have been moving to in 1980, but hardly what people have been moving to in the last decade of ’80s genuflection. The sudden stylistic turnovers shed the cool of Lindstrøm’s past work, but his attention to detail remains. Where before tunes would gradually transform, shifting from acid grooves back to piña coladas, here they mutate with disorienting logic.

The biggest mutation comes right at the start: an intro of minimalist church organ chimes escalates until it can’t get any denser, then flings apart. The result is a Bronx cheer bassline that clears the way for a landing spacecraft, “De Javu,” the funkiest workout on the album. It’s the most overt R&B signifier on an album that collects them; clavicords, falsetto slogans and stutter guitar are the threads that stitch together Six Cups of Rebel.

There’s also an unusual amount of vocal work by Lindstrom’s standards. The first suite of tracks ends with Hans-Peter himself singing the Byrne-like sentiment of “All I want is a quiet place to live.” His plea bobs and sinks through wave upon wave of watery keyboards. The second side doesn’t have lyrics, but one breakdown acquires a haze of low, laughing voices.

As the disc unwinds, it sheds most of the ornament, and it becomes purely percussive. The sounds aren’t exactly kick drum and slap bass, but beats sound like they’re being kicked and slapped. The rising-note motifs still color the background, and ensure that no matter how far out Six Cups of Rebel gets, it never stops corkscrewing towards heaven.

By Ben Donnelly

Other Reviews of Lindstrøm

It’s A Feedelity Affair / Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas

Where You Go I Go Too

Smalhans

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View all articles by Ben Donnelly

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