Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
Review: Hamar is the island town in Norway that birthed Prins Thomas, and here he teams up with two local producers with backgrounds in the skwee scene for a split EP on his own Full Pupp label. He graciously lets his guests go first, with Melkeveien bringing us blissed-out Scandolearic throbber 'Thirst Issues' and Sprutbass blending flutes and electro synths on 'Reddik'. Then it's Thomas's turn, as he serves up 'Bybass', a breakbeat-driven funker with more 80s-sounding synths, and 'Ansjless', a much housier drum cut that nods to vintage Chi-town and gets ever more frantic as it progresses.
Review: Working as a companion to his recent self-titled album, these three tracks from the same sessions find a home on this sprightly release on Thomas' own Full Pupp imprint. Title tune "Morfar" fits in with the motorik grooves that dominate on the album - a rock-steady bassline (which sounds weirdly similar to The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di") and disco-rock drums make it a post-rock, post-disco odyssey."Atter En Trall" is a tasty nu-disco number while Kukkelure is just plain funky!
Review: Prins Thomas's pleasingly varied production career takes another twist here. Having variously helped to define the Scandolearic disco sound, paid tribute to wonky krautrock workouts and recorded some of the best ambient music of the last few years, the Oslo producer has decided to take a different path on "Edmond". An epic split into two parts, "Edmond" combines dense, Sotofett/Bjorj Torske style hand percussion work, electrofunk influenced synths and the producer's usual picturesque melodies to predictably brilliant effect. There's more percussive fun to be had on the wonky, bass-heavy and trippy flipside "Montague Grant", which smothers layered tribal percussion in trippy acid lines, delay-laden synth doodles and deep space chord sequences.
Review: In its original Prins Thomas 5 album form, "Lunga Strada" was something of a glistening Scandolearic treat - a sublime fusion of cascading, jazzy guitar solos, sun-ripe organ chords and layered, loose percussion. Who better to remix it, then, than Lyon-based Hawiaan shirt enthusiasts turned nu-Balearic kings Pilotwings? Naturally, the resultant reworks are little less than superb. They begin with the humid, kaleidoscopic fusion of the Bubble Zouk Mix, which utilizes synthesizer panpipe melodies, loose synth-pop drums and a skip-load of happy pills to transform the Norwegian's original version into a kind of tropical Balearic boogie masterclass. The "loved-up in the jungle" feel is heightened further by their Bonus Beats version, a dense percussion workout full of tribal drums and sampled chants.
Review: In the three years that Prins Thomas' techno offshoot label has been in existence, it has mainly acted as a platform for artists like Keita Sano and Mental Overdrive. Now the label boss himself appears on the label to deliver a left field take on techno. On "Apokalypso 2", the Norwegian producer drops a rolling groove and a cacophony of bells, underpinned by a surging, driving bass. The Oyvind Morken 'Trance Dance' version is more nuanced, with the bells brought to the fore and a lither rhythm deployed, but it doesn't detract from the wiry acid and insistent groove of "Apokalypso 1" or the moody swagger of the third version.
Review: A decade after opening its' doors, Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label - a long-running showcase for Norwegian talent - has reached 50 releases. Fittingly, the imprint's figurehead has decided to mark the occasion with a double-pack of his own material - his most expansive offering since the Prins Thomas III LP in 2014. Highlights are plentiful, from the fluid, broken rhythms, undulating electronics and bubbling acid lines of the quietly grandiose "Meiro", and trance-inducing, dark nu-disco of "Trans (12" Version)", to the Chicago acid-influenced dancefloor wonkiness of "Toransu". The package also contains a tasty "bonus beat" rub of one of the tracks, and previously unheard remixes from Chmmr and Kort.
Review: In the five years that it's taken former studio partner Hans-Peter Lindstrom to produce his latest solo album, Prins Thomas has delivered three fantastic full-length excursions. He's at it again here, laying down another cheery, entertaining and off-kilter romp in his now distinctive style. Rich in live instrumentation, vintage synthesizers and classic drum machines, "Prins Thomas 5" sees the lauded Norwegian serving up cuts that variously touch on space rock, cosmic disco, Italo-disco, krautrock, ambient, acid, proto-techno and, of course, his own distinctive takes on the "Scandolearic" sound he helped to create. It's arguably a little more intricate, layered and complex than some of his previous work, but that's no bad thing. Arguably, it's one of his best sets yet.
Anything For You? (Barratt remix) - (6:56) 120 BPM
Review: The latest release on Prins Thomas' label is somewhat different to his more cosmic whimsies. Inspired by a desire to produce music to be played at peak-time, "Anything.." is a pared back, rolling electronic disco groove that resounds to a rumbling bass and a hail of bleepy electronics. Of course this being Prins Thomas, the tempo doesn't rise over 120bpm, so the concept of peak-time is relative. He has also commissioned two remixes: working under his Eagles & Butterflies alias, Chris Barratt delivers a pulsating, tripped out rework that gradually veers into synth-led bliss, while the Barratt remix is a more sophisticated, deeper affair, resounding to a glistening synth line.
Bringing Mum To Panorama Bar (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) - (5:54) 126 BPM
Review: While he has not yet confirmed that he did indeed bring his mother with him to Berlin's most famous club, Prins Thomas has stated that "Mum.." was designed for maximum dance floor impact. It's hard to question this as soon as the loose percussion and insistent, lopsided rhythm kicks in. Meanwhile, Norman Nodge's take is designed for the main room in Berghain; insistent synth loops and predatory acid warbles come together over a menacing, juddering tribal rhythm that is sure to have a serious impact. Prins Thomas provides the second remix and his alternate version resounds to skipping drums and dramatic stabs supported by a lumbering, low-slung bass.
Review: While renowned for promoting a particular kind of Scandolearic disco, Prins Thomas's Full Pupp label has never shied away from mixing things up now and then. As the title suggests, Vi Kal It Asid sees Thomas gather together a bunch of like-minded misfits for a no-holds-barred trip into acid territory. The much-loved label boss kicks things off with a particularly tough, intense and gnarly acid jam - all brain-melting 303 lines and punchy percussion - before Omar V and Mario Aparicio join forces for the deeper and more psychedelic-inclined, Orbital-ish "Acidwave". Ayvind Morken does his best Phuture impression on the straightforward, but still intoxicating "Mann Not Maskin", while Trulz & Robin combine foreboding waves of trippy electronics and off-kilter drum machine hits on the "Energy Flash" influenced "Tjelvar".
Review: This is the second volume of remixes of C Cat Trance material. The 80s band's music was previously reworked by JD Twitch and Die Orangen, and this EP is just as impressive. Israeli duo Red Axes deliver a rumbling, tribal take on "Shake the Mind", while on his version of "Take Me To The Beach", UK DJ Jamie Paton lays down a sprawling, messy workout. Prins Thomas soon picks up the groove again though, and the Norwegian's version of "Sudaniyya" is a subtle disco affair, led by clipped drums and gamelan percussion. Finally, on their taken on "Simple Helen", Romanian pair Khidja drop a terse, dub-fuelled piece of mood music.
Review: Prins Thomas seems to have got this album making malarkey down to a fine art. Having taken what seems like an eternity to put together his 2010 debut album, Prins Thomas, he's now up to volume three in his self-titled solo series. Whereas previous albums had a crustier krautrock feel amongst the cosmic synths, Prins Thomas III is largely downtempo, delivering a range of atmospheric Scandolearic moments that recall his two full-lengths alongside pal Hans-Peter Lindstrom. As usual, there's much to enjoy, from the drifting downtempo fluidity of "Trans" and wonky leftfield disco of "Labyrinth" to the sparse off-kilter Italo of "Apne Slusa" and intoxicating Middle Eastern chug of "Arabisk Natt (Dub)". In many ways it's a muted set - by his standards, at least - but that only adds to its' lazy, hazy charm.
Review: Since playing a starring role (often alongside old pal Hans-Peter Lindstrom) in the Norwegian space disco and Scandolearic movements of the mid 2000s, Prins Thomas has wandered off in all sorts of different directions, filling his first solo LP with Krautrock-inspired darkness. This second solo album displays some of the same influences (see the post punk bass and dark percussive builds of "Peppadans 1"), while moving back towards the sound with which he made his name. It's an interesting mix, all told, encompassing intense, paranoid moods ("Bobletekno (Permiks)"), sparse percussive workouts ("Bom Bom"), and shimmering Scandolearic builders (the how do you pronounce "Symfonisj Utviklingschemming"), all wrapped up in his trademark prog rock-influenced production.
Review: Full Pupp boss Prins Thomas drops the first DJ friendly release on his label for some two years and it's pure dirt! There's a guttural glee to "Lang Tung Ting" which grabs you from the off and keeps you hooked throughout. Rough, gut punching drums are the perfect match for growling acid squiggles that occupy the lower reaches of the mix, with the track steadily accruing warped jacking intent as it progresses. "Tom Peng Pung" offers a shorter, more percussively inclined version on the track which just doesn't retain the same earthy joy as it's longer counterpart. The bump of "Ny Maskin" is notable for the increasingly psychedelic surges of guitar that gradually overwhelm your senses.
Review: This triple-album collection is something of a treat for Prins Thomas fans. Released as an accompaniment to his epic, three-disc Paradise Goulash mix, it's entirely made up of previously unreleased re-edits from the Norwegian maestro. Musically, it's as cosmic and varied as you'd expect, variously touching on ambient (Claude Speed), Balearic jazz (Gabor Szabo), Middle Eastern oddness (Cat Trance), synth-samba (Richard Schneider Jnr), modern classical (a Johanna Billings cover of Arthur Russell's "This Is How We Walk On The Moon"), and all manner of hazy, sun-kissed grooves. There's little slamming dancefloor fare, but plenty of unique versions of overlooked, little known or forgotten musical gems. For that alone, it should be an essential purchase.
Review: Paper Recordings comes through with the absolute goods; a compilation that many true-school house heads wound dream of, especially to own it on digital formats. This is the Northern Disco Lights compilation, a total treasure chest of Scandinavian house jams that are going for serious amounts of money on the second-hand market. In short, this is your chance to own these beauties and mould them into your sets. Inside, you'll find timeless tunes from the likes of the great Bjorn Torske, Doc L Junior, and even the dearly missed Erot with the stone-cold classic "Song For Annie". But, there's more; Biosphere appears with that inimitable drone flair, and even Todd Terje features proudly, as per usual. An absolutely essential release. Warmly recommended.