Available on: Full Pupp CD

It’s hard to believe that this is Prins Thomas’ first solo album. He’s been a central figure in the Norwegian wibbly disco scene for years; as a collaborator with Lindstrom, a quite incredible DJ, and as a remixer and producer in his own right (if you haven’t already, you need to check out his epically beautiful mix of Hatchback’s ‘White Diamond’). Yet on his self-titled debut he moves away, almost completely, from the dancefloor.

In place of the rounded and spacious grooves that made his name, Prins Thomas gets stuck into Neu-esque motorik pulses, as on opener ‘Attiatte’, and gentle hippy wig-outs that sound as if he’s been listening to a fair bit of Popul Vuh. It’s all pleasant material, but also quite polite. The original Krautrock explorations of these sounds often crackled with the thrill of new discoveries, yet these homages are cosy and comfortable. Only on the strutting disco-house of ‘Wendy not Walter’ does Prins Thomas remind us what a stunning dance music producer he is, ornately layering the glitter-balls keyboards and string sweeps to create a mighty, undeniable haze of cosmic disco bliss.

While it’s totally admirable that Prins has refused to get caught up in the hype that surrounded Norwegian disco, and has steadfastly decided to do his own thing, I can’t help but wish that his debut had a few more cosmic disco bangers (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) and a few less strung-out guitar solos. But then I’m a shallow hedonist.

Simon Hampson



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