Lindstrom and Prins Thomas
n a recent interview, Prins Thomas described “Feel PM,” a version of an earlier track of his and Lindstrøm’s called “Feel AM,” as “us trying to sound like a Norwegian amateur band trying to do a cover version of us.” This sums up both Reinterpretations and L&PT;’s contribution to contemporary disco in general. “Beardo” is a dumb tag, but it’s stuck for a reason—Norway’s L&PT; have helped make disco sound woollier, weedier, and slower; less expensive, but more expansive. In 2005, they released Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas, which should’ve been great—their work separately had been excellent—but somehow was just okay. Reinterpretations collects the four 12-inches released in the wake of the album, and lo, it’s better than the original, proving that some dance producers know innately how to not waste space on a single but piss it away as soon as the words “full,” “length,” and “album” appear in series.
Part of it might be time: on the original L&PT;, the duo were still figuring out their aesthetic, indulging in goopy chill-out and an ugly sense of luxury lifted from soft-rock—stuff clearly not made for the dancefloor, but not of great use anywhere else either. Where “Feel AM” was a sofa so plush you couldn’t bear to sit on it, “Feel PM” is lived-in, backed by a staticky drum machine and a teenager’s lone rhythm guitar. Reinterpretations is full of widely spaced arpeggios played on wobbly analog synths, casual tempos, and live bass. It’s an obscenely easy record to like because it’s relaxing without wielding “relaxation” as a pretense—on a recent Saturday afternoon, Reinterpretations playing in the background, I offered some unexpected guests fresh watermelon. “This is really good watermelon,” one guy said, pausing before adding, “and this is really good music to...eat watermelon to.”
Listening to Reinterpretations is almost like hearing L&PT; own up to the error of their ways. Even though it forgoes some of the belabored texture of the original album, it’s a uniformly better take on a lot of the same songs. And it’s more in step with the sound Lindstrøm found such solo success with on It’s a Feedelity Affair—dance music that echoes the epic, easy feeling of Kraftwerk in the shaggy jams of Can (whose “Mighty Girl” gets covered on Reinterpretations). It’s true that L&PT;’s music lacks some nuance, leaning on predictable swells and a nearly kitschy sense of way-outness, but that’s also part of their appeal. Disco had its time for sheen and ornament; Reinterpretations is just another sweep in the modern gesture to make room for stoners and stargazers on the dancefloor.