A cosmic odyssey that never quite reaches light speed…
'It's Alright Between Us As It Is'

There are many musical genres in the world, and most have brilliantly ridiculous names, but none quite like Space Disco. To be fair it does exactly what it says on the tin, marrying the groove and danceability of disco with the futuristic tones and soundscapes of…well, ‘space’. It’s something that Norway’s Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is a deft hand at, spending the past 15 years taking listeners on synth-heavy journeys that get the feet shuffling.

It’s career that’s seen him bag three Spellemannsprisen’s (Norway’s equivalent to a Grammy), produce some serious stonking remixes for the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Glasser, as well as rack up a sizeable carbon footprint playing to crowds all over the globe. Not bad for a guy who was raised on Country and Western and spent his early musical days in a Deep Purple cover band. ‘It’s Alright Between Us As It Is’ sees the producer go completely solo for the fifth time, leaving frequent collaborator Prins Thomas for a spell in order to deliver nine tracks of atmospheric pleasure.

Sounding like Vangelis took a few too many downers, this cosmic odyssey never ceases to be enjoyable, but also never quite reaches overall greatness either. There are some blistering numbers without a doubt. The pulsing ‘Tension’, a sci-fi coated jam that perfectly balances the contemporary electronica with Euro Disco for brilliant results. The sultry ‘But It Isn’t’ featuring the enchanting vocal work of Frida Sundemo, an album peak and welcome slice of glacial cool. Jenny Hval pops up too - naturally appearing on the darkest moment of the record - ‘Bungl (Like A Ghost), happily spewing her black poetry and Avant-garde leanings all over the thing. Thom Yorke will love it.

Still, despite these standouts, there’s never quite lift-off. While buddy Todd Terje's sole studio release ‘It’s Album Time’ made waves due to its great humour and prevailing sense of quirkiness, this latest from Lindstrøm weighs to heavy on the pedestrian side. Sure, the whole package is professionally crafted and confidently gets you drifting away from your day-to-day woes, but what we really need is for Chewie to punch it into hyperspace.

6/10

Words: Sam Walker-Smart

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