After the release of LindstrĂ¸mâs critically acclaimed solo album Where You Go I Go Too, in 2008 and 2009`s collaborative album with Prins Thomas, II, Norwayâs maestro of disco returns once again. This time he teams up with sultry vocalist Christabelle, to bring us Real Life Is No Cool, an edgy pop album of structured chaos and hypnotic beats.
Hans-Peter LindstrĂ¸m actually began work on Real Life Is No Cool before Where You Go I Go Too, it just so happened WYGIGT was finished first. It was his work on this new album, containing 10 short pop songs with vocals, which became the impetus behind creating the epic and colossal masterpiece, WYGIGT (with only 3 long tracks and a opening track clocking in at 28 minutes). Essentially, WYGIGT was a kind of reaction to his work on Real Life Is No Cool. When WYGIGT began making waves around the world, LindstrĂ¸m went back into his studio to complete Real Life Is No Cool.
Christabelle (also known as Solale to LindstrĂ¸m followers) has been working on and off with LindstrĂ¸m since 2001. Their relationship began when she immediately fell in love with his sound after hearing her brother Dennis (a friend of LindstrĂ¸m) play some of his tracks at home. Upon listening, she proceeded to lay down vocals on some of his tracks, and her brother then delivered them to LindstrĂ¸m. His first impression was, âWow! This sounds totally fresh, wild and quirkyâ. A meeting was set up and the two found a common ground. âWe found out that we shared many of the same musical references, such as Motown, Grace Jones, 80s soul, Vanity 6, etc.â says LindstrĂ¸m. âWe even tried to make a cover of Zapp`s âComputer Loveâ. This meeting led to a collaboration resulting in two 12âs — 2003âs âMusic In My Mindâ and 2005âs âLetâs Practiceâ (then under the name LindstrĂ¸m and Solale). They never planned on making an album together, but the collaboration slowly evolved into a collection of songs that ended up becoming Real Life Is No Cool. (The title is a line taken from the album track âKeep It Upâ — a track about violent relationships.)
Christabelle, whose full name is Christabelle Silje Isabelle Birgitta Sandoo, was born in 1981 to a Norwegian mother and a father from Mauritius (an island in the Indian ocean) in Oslo, Norway. Her father is a musician and music teacher, her mother a vocalist, and her brother a drummer. âAll my life I have been surrounded by music, musicians, and instruments, so it was kind of obvious that I would also make musicâ. She started working with some of the best producers in Norway, but got off to on the wrong foot as she soon rebelled against their slick sound and attitude. As she said, âThere was simply no room for going crazy and having fun, and I didnât want to sell my nomad soulâ. One of the things that attracted LindstrĂ¸m was this rebellion against being âproducedâ. He would just let Christabelle do what she was inspired to do â she found room for improvisation and was able to let herself loose working with him. She created most of the lyrics on the spot, while the two were jamming, and recorded half of the tracksâ vocals at home and on her own, using a simple Shure SM55 âelvisâ-mic, which gave her vocals an intimate and raw character. LindstrĂ¸m would then edit and produce the jams later. Christabelle was not into the house music that LindstrĂ¸m was into at the time, which forced him to think differently. The result was a more loose and improvised sound than what LindstrĂ¸m had done before.
LindstrĂ¸m calls their collaboration âstructured chaosâ, him being the structure and Christabelle bringing the chaos. This chaos is also very much a part of Christabelle`s personal life. She has always been a nomad — impulsive and restless, sheâs a self-described âon-the-road girlâ. She moved to London when she was 16, and, since then, has lived in Paris, Marseille, Mauritius, and Stockholm. She now lives in Oslo. She is, in many ways, the total opposite of LindstrĂ¸m, who lives a quiet family life and makes disco nine to five, Monday to Friday, traveling to play one gig a month so that he can have time with his family.
Real Life Is No Cool is a meeting of these two different personalities.