Six Cups of Rebel

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Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is back with what's technically only his second "proper" solo album, and it is a feisty one. The unpredictable Norwegian producer seems to be taking some cues here from his labelmates (and sometime-remix cronies), the prog pranksters Mungolian Jet Set; Six Cups of Rebel is chock-full of the kind of bizarre, cartoonish, sci-fi lunacy and cheekily maximalist, gonzo musical odysseys they've made their stock-in-trade. In particular, the album is animated by a virtual armada of goofy, muppet-like voices -- most or all of which are Lindstrøm's own, tweaked and twisted in ways even the Knife might find extreme. It's certainly recognizable as the work of the same artist -- his sense of pacing, patient and playful in equal measure, remains as masterful as ever -- and features a unified, suite-like structure, but this is a far cry from the understated elegance and monumental minimalism of 2008's Where You Go I Go Too. It doesn't start out that way, however. The album opens in relative stillness and solemnity, with a single, spiraling organ figure gradually augmented by swelling, skyward organs, until the sudden rug pull of "De Javu" launches into demento disco mode for the next 20-odd minutes. Here's where the loopy vocal phantasmagoria really holds sway -- from the bluesman yowling "I can't get no release" to a curmudgeonly fellow muttering "All I want is a quiet place to live" to a chorus line of scatting space creatures demanding "What kind of magik do you do?" -- interwoven into a string of strutting mutant dance jams. The less vocally oriented second side embarks on a slippery arpeggio-thon that meanders like a prog-tinted jam session, featuring improvisatory drumming and oblique quotes from "Here Comes the Sun." It passes through the twitchy, zapping acid-funk of the title track en route to the glittery, expansive synthesizer fantasia of "Hina," which comes full circle with a swooning, celestial susurration of voices. It's the first time we feel a satisfying sense of prolonged suspension. The album is in a near-constant state of masterfully sustained harmonic and rhythmic tension. Just when you thought it couldn't possibly last, that swirling organ line reappears like a devilish deus ex machina, and sends the whole thing circling around again.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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