LindstrÃ¸m – Six Cups Of Rebel – CD/2XLP (releasedate 6. February)
Bio by Rob Young
Fiveâ¦ fourâ¦ threeâ¦ twoâ¦ oneâ¦
With the latest album from dance producer Hans-Peter LindstrÃ¸m, Norwayâs latest entry in the space race has been launched out of the wooded outskirts of Oslo. Six Cups Of Rebel, LindstrÃ¸mâs fourth solo album, is a super-sized cosmic disco rocket that burns up a galaxy of eclectic influences in its wake, from Bach to Deep Purple, from Prog rock and arpeggiator disco to Acid House, while sounding sleek and utterly contemporary. He may worship at the temple of godlike European DJs from the 80s like Daniele Baldelli and Beppe Loda, but the relentless, occasionally monumental scale of Six Cups Of Rebel has the power to move mountains all by itself.
From the opening âNo Releaseâ â a five-minute coitus interruptus of cascading cathedral organ â to the pumping Detroit pistons of âCall Me Anytimeâ and the wah-wah stabs and fizzing 808 basslines of the title track, Six Cups Of Rebel acts like a star map of LindstrÃ¸mâs own voyage to the outer limits of electronic music. When he holds back, as on the ten-minute âHinaâ, itâs only to let rip with added propulsion, like a satellite using a planetâs orbit to push it to the next level.
In the LindstrÃ¸m discography stretching back to 2003, albums tend to be a small interruption in a constant stream of remixes and 12âs (including one, under the anonymous moniker Six Cups Of Rebel, on the Feedelity label in 2005). He forms part of a constellation of Nordic producers that includes Diskjokke, Todd Terje and BjÃ¸rn Torske, Prins Thomas, He also regularly collaborates with fellow Norwegian space disco wizard Prins Thomas, whose self-titled album received much acclaim last year.
But is the âcosmic discoâ label a medallion or a millstone? âIf âcosmicâ means music without any limits, I donât mind being discussed in these terms,â says LindstrÃ¸m. âI guess my definition of âcosmicâ comes from listening to mixtapes from Daniele Baldelli, Beppe Loda and other âcosmicâ DJs. And what is typical of the music that these tapes consist of, is a wide range of diversity, both in musical style, sound and genre. I leave it to other people to label/tag my music this or that, but itâs true that these legendary tapes has been a massive inspiration for me over the years. I really believe in mixing up everything, and having no respect for the traditional way of doing things.â
One major innovation on Six Cups Of Rebel is the use of vocals, a first for LindstrÃ¸m. On âDe Javuâ it mutters about âthat feeling that youâve been here beforeâ â an uncanny sensation that echoes his own music. Thereâs âMagikâ, with its eccentric falsetto call and response, and the sarcastic laughter in âSix Cups Of Rebelâ.
LindstrÃ¸m: âI have to admit that the decision of including vocals has been with mixed feelings. Iâm no vocalist, but I wanted to include my own voice this time. Iâve been trying out different approaches on how the inclusion of vocals would sound ârightâ for the music. In the end, I decided that everything was allowed, including pitching, stretching and all kinds of voice-processing and manipulation. The vocals here isnât the most important element, but just another part of the music, as important as the cowbell, the ARP Solina string synthesizer or the free-running arpeggios. Lyrically, Iâve been more interested in repeating mantras, simple repeating sentences without any other meaning than whatâs being actual said or sung. Might sound stupid for others, but makes perfect sense to me.â
Unusually for a dance album, itâs introduced with a grand swell of mighty church organ, an aching tension-builder that refuses drop th beat for a tantaslising five minutes. âI initially planned to do this live in a church somewhere,â says LindstrÃ¸m, âbut I really like that semi-natural feeling you get when combining MIDI-organs together as one big-sounding artificial church organ. So I ended up doing it in my studio instead.â
He cites the likes of Jon Lord, whose gnarly organs gave so much classical flavour to the early Deep Purple. âI wanted to give the opening track that âlarger than lifeâ feeling, similar to how I remember those old Heavy Metal albums from my youth. And nothing is larger than a church organâ¦â
âQuiet Placeâ is the albumâs other major curveball: an eccentric club banger that pleads, âAll I want is a quiet place to liveââ¦ Not the normal sentiments of a man who spends much of his life rocking international dancefloors. âItâs just a simple desire to live somewhere quiet,â he says. âNothing fancy. In fact, I do have a cabin in the woods just outside of Oslo thatâs being used for recreation, and growing of vegetables and fruit trees. And I donât find that too weird for a dance track. I mean, who hasnât been to a disco, dancing to boring music, wishing for someplace else? I do that all the time.â
In fact, for an audio astronaut, this musicâs maker is surprisingly down to earth, a family man turning out his music from a factory floor-type existence. âWell, I donât believe in sitting up all night drinking and waiting for that special moment of inspiration. Iâm working every day at the studio, nine to four, and Iâm totally happy with a straight lifestyle. Being away on tour for more than four days makes me uncomfortable and grumpy. In fact I usually get homesick before I leave home. I love Mondays, and discovering that everything is just as I left it on Friday afternoon…â
Itâs not rocket science: Six Cups Of Rebel might just be the finest dance record of 2011.