Prins Thomas first became known as Lindstrøm’s right-hand man and if you heard any Norwegian house in the last few years, chances are it was from these two or their label signees (Looking at you Todd Terje).
Their sound has became known as some combination of the words disco, space and opera, with good reason: they are probably the most evocative terms you could find to summarize the strange blend of music that they have delivered unto the world. Prins Thomas II is no different from Prins Thomas I in that respect, or Prins Thomas himself, really: complex, sunny and cold, a bit dirty, elusive.
There are 8 tracks on this record (7 if you get the vinyl) which are mixed into one another for a woven science fiction journey in and out of sound. There is obviously a layer of very referential, even traditional house, that sort of falls apart as you go deeper into your listening, whether it’s from the balearic rhythms of Bom Bom or the downright carnavalesque drums of Flau Pappadans 1, chances are you will get carried away by the groove, even inadvertently.
But it’s not all light-hearted, no no. Bobletekno slides in some strange ethereal vocals that may well be an aurora borealis for all I know. And then there’s the hypnotic, maddening beat of Søt Kløt or the brassy bass of Tjukkas Pa Karussel, assembling itself like a cloud in front of your ears, forcing you to navigate blind. Even the blackest of black hearts (mine) HAS TO reckon with the sheer dynamic of this album.
Much more than for his peers, I find that the words fail me to describe this album. I could pile (more) clichés on top, it still wouldn’t capture the range of moods and variations thereupon that Prins Thomas has created. This one is less trippy but probably more accessible than Lindstrøm’s latest, and I bet it’s also going to figure in a lot of end of the year Top 10s for house music.