Lindstrøm &
Prins Thomas
(Smalltown Supersound, 2020)

Don’t let the title of the opening track on III fool you into thinking it’s a full-on “Grand Finale.” Judging by its slow-moving synth lines, blunted drum beats, and lounge pants loops, Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas sound more concerned with setting a “Serenity Now” scene than flooding a dance floor.

And while the pace does pick up on “Martin 5000” — a dash of disco sprinkled with star dust — the Norwegian duo bring us right back down to earth with midnight drive melodies (“Small Stream”), shag carpet scenarios (“Oranges”), and plush ambient pads (“Birdstrike”). “Harmonia” could even construed as widescreen Krautrock, a nod to either the goddess of harmony or the supergroup that brought Michael Rother, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Dieter Moebius, and Brian Eno together during the mid ’70s. Maybe even both.

“Our partnership is very democratic,” explains Thomas. “We never turn down each other’s ideas. And if it goes wrong, we blame it on the other guy.

He continues, “The tracks that Lindstrøm sent me this time were almost like standard house tracks. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I forced those tracks into new shoes and dresses.”

It’s not a bad look. If anything, it’s their most focused effort yet….