Entertainment :: Music

Smalhans

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Nov 6, 2012
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Hans-Peter Lindstrom, who makes music under the name Lindstrom, is following a trend that has sprouted up over the past few years: the Norwegian producer is set to put out his second album of the year.

In March, Lindstrom released the mediocre "Six Cups of Rebel," that only featured a small amount of successful cuts, like the sexy single "De Javu." But on his latest effort, the six track "Smalhans," which clocks in at just over 30 minutes, the producer returns to a sound that made his breakout 2008 record "Where You Go I Go To" a pleasurable listening experience.

According to a press release, "smalhans" translates from old-time Norwegian to "scarcity" or "poverty" and each of the track titles are named after a traditional Norwegian dish. And rightfully so, since "Smalhans" proves to be a rich and decadent record for those who love nu-disco and forever flowing dance beats.

The album is tightly cohesive and timeless; Lindstrom does a fanatic job of creating six tracks that transcend ’80s dance music and the landscape of current intelligent dance music, which is due to the fact that most music fans crave the retro beeps and bleeps of Moog synthesizers. The dazzling opener, "Ra-ako-st" could have soundtracked a scene in John Hugh’s "Weird Science" but would have no problem getting kids on the club dance floor.

But Lindstrom’s biggest problem is also his strength. "Smalhans" is not going to help him gain any new fans -- although it’s less accessible than "Six Cups," since most tracks are over five minutes and don’t feature any vocals, it is ultimately a very smart record. But smart doesn’t always translate. It’s a difficult album to actively listen to and things may be too tightly bound for Lindstrom’s own good as sounds and moods aren’t switched up enough to keep listeners occupied.

For most people, however, these songs will work best when they stand alone or are put on a mix tape, including the standout "Eg-ged-osis." Nothing here is offensive or off-putting in the least; Lindstrom’s ideas and talent are showcased again and again through the energetic beats and gliding synths on "Smalhans". But in an age where producers like Calvin Harris and Max Martin give audiences quick and satisfying guilty pleasure pop tunes, Lindstrom unfortunately finds himself at a disadvantage with some listeners.

Rating: 70/100

"Smalhans"
Lindstrom
CD and Digital formats
Smalltown Supersound

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