Prins Thomas

Prins Thomas, Vol. 3

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​Norwegian electronic producer Prins Thomas made his name on the strength of countless EPs, singles, and a series of collaborations with like-minded electro voyager Hans-Peter Lindstrøm. Together, the two sculpted hazy, swaggering rhythms that gelled with vintage synth tones to create a hybrid offshoot of electronic music dubbed "space disco." Thomas' pioneering work in the space disco genre reached a boiling point in his collaborations with Lindstrom, but thrived in his solo tracks. Thomas takes some steps away from the space disco sound without losing any of its inherent funk on Vol. 3, a third proper album following innumerable singles, EPs, various collaborations, and two, more focused solo albums. The album kicks off with the dubby, cosmic electro of "Hans Majestet," a track built on rubbery basslines and intersecting rhythmic flows. Despite the song's ever-evolving arrangement, with the inclusion of various, classic '80s synth and guitar tones, and echo-doused production, Thomas maintains a sense of uncluttered spaciousness throughout the song. This is true of most of Vol. 3, as the songs travel over a wide range of styles and instrumentation without ever feeling unfocused. The colorful synths that begin "Kameleon" have the same subdued control and repetition as the best moments of Krautrock legends like Harmonium and Cluster, but the song soon takes off with jumpy hi-hats and twisting spirals of delay that take it into its more menacing second half. Apart from its brilliant use of space, Vol. 3 succeeds in its ability to amp up tension and a manic sense of composition without ever losing control. The sly, funky push of "​2000 Lysar Fra Morellveien​"​ builds to a fevered pitch without ever breaking or finding predictable resolution, and likewise, "Enmannsrock"​ grows from an intro of sluggish beats and spacy synth arpeggios to include live drums and other unexpected twists. The 11 songs stretch out over the course of more than an hour but never drag. Instead, Thomas creates a world of metered, mesmerizing galactic electronics. Taking from various genres and schools of production in perfect increments, Vol. 3 is another specimen of classic synth-based brilliance from Thomas' long catalog of strong and seemingly effortless work.

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