Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's sixth solo album was developed after the musician was commissioned to compose music for the Norwegian art museum Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. After giving three sold-out performances in 2018, he retained some of the ideas and recorded a series of one-take studio sessions using an arsenal of vintage synthesizers and drum machines. Working entirely with hardware rather than software and plug-ins, he also made a point to edit the recordings to fit evenly on two sides of a vinyl LP. A complete step away from the neo-disco and cosmic house he's best known for, this album is chiefly inspired by classical music, early electronic records, and prog rock in the vein of Robert Wyatt and Matching Mole. The album's title track is an entirely improvised piece played on a Memorymoog, and while it certainly sounds spirited, it's also far more meandering than Lindstrøm's usual work, sounding much closer to a rehearsal than a finished piece of music. The album's other three tracks were written and arranged ahead of time, and they're much more engaging. "Really Deep Snow" is filled with ticking drum machines and fluttering arpeggios, along with haunting melodies and organ chords. "Swing Low Sweet LFO" has a backdrop of spiraling textures, accompanied by lonesome melodies recalling Vangelis soundtracks such as L'Apocalypse des Animaux. "As If No One Is Here" is softer and more reserved, and it does an excellent job at capturing a private, late-night vibe. On a Clear Day feels like Lindstrøm going back to basics, while also starting a new chapter of his career.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson