Re-working of tracks off the Norwegian producers' iconic debut plays with sophisticated, minimal variations; two new tracks give the disc added kick.
Reinterpretations is, as the name implies, a reworking of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' earlier material. In fact, it's a re-do of about half of the pair's 2005 self-titled debut -- hard to believe the debut was so recent, right? Same as with Lindstrom's solo debut, our attention is drawn both to the fact that these guys have only recently gotten around to committing to record their head-oriented micro-disco and to the fact that their reputation was gained for a pretty good reason.
Reinterpretations is comprised of re-edited versions of seven of the thirteen tracks on the original album, plus a couple of new tracks that become the main focus of the record (we'll get to these). The juxtaposition of the tweaked older material and these new entrants into the pair's oeuvre argues for a continuity of their characteristic sound -- the originals hardly needed a lot of fiddling with, and the newer material clicks and swishes itself to a hypnotic trance, with hardly a discernible difference. You'll find yourself engulfed, listening to the record on headphones, in the layered but small-scale gestures the pair's become known for.
"Nummer Fire En" and "Nummer Fire To", the new additions on Reinterpretations, really make things interesting. The first is a twenty-minute, hulking opus. Stretched out so long, the looping repetitions of subtle percussive and thematic elements give the producers the time to engineer the placement of every single part of idea. About seven minutes in, you realise this stuttering series of notes is a melody, and an otherworldly harpsichord descending motif comes into brief prominence. By about the fifteen minute mark you’re saturated in this sun-drenched electronica -- the whole sound has been overtaken with stutter, but how you got there remains something of a mystery. Similarly, "Nummer Fire To" is expansive to the point of bursting, filled with huge organ crescendos and pinging effects. The track gradually builds to an extremely full sounding, ghostly encompassing wail of guitar noise -- a sweet farewell to an album full of more minimal gestures.
The preceding reinterpretations retain more of the funk of the original recording, but still feel fresh. You could imagine the syncopated beat and piano riff of "Mighty Girl" being used in one of these hip hop songs that have recently discovered the appeal of dance music, such as Kanye's "Stronger". Of course, this song's much more complex, with layered piano lines in an ascending wave. The focus isn't so much on the now-familiar "space disco" sound as its precursor, discofied micro-funk, intended primarily for headphones but with a strong enough beat to be adaptable for a progressive dancefloor. Highlights of the original "Boney M Down" and "Feel PM" still shine here, simultaneously easy-going and with a rattling, expansive sound.
Reinterpretations is a strong, astute disc of material at once familiar and refreshing. It's not contained by the latest fad in dance music or even overly concerned with the economics of a remix album. You get the feeling that the disc was born out of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' own conception that there was more to be fleshed out of the ideas on their debut than had been revealed the first time. And that's just fine. As long as the pair continue to mine the deep vein of talent with their own unique approach to electronic music, they're going to keep a lot of fans pretty satisfied.