Review: Given that both All is Well and Martin "Atjazz" Iveson are hugely experienced and talented producers with a penchant for creating emotive, atmospheric dance music, you'd expect this collaboration on Prins Thomas's Internasjonal label to be rather good. It is, of course, with the pair supplementing their tactile, huggable and life-affirming original mix of 'Cosmos' - a smooth, rolling peak-time number complete with deep sub-bass and addictive organ stabs - with a wonderfully evocative and immersive ambient version (the 'Beatless' mix, which you can find at the end of the EP). The accompanying guest reworks are rather good, too. Prins Thomas brilliantly reimagines 'Cosmos' as a constantly building slab of Scandeloearic space disco excellence, while fellow Norwegian Telephones turns it into a dreamy, colourful and glassy-eyed sunrise house treat.
Review: Next on Prins Thomas' Internasjonal imprint it's over to Gothenburg-based DJ/producer Anton Klint, aka Tiedye and Tryck & Ton (with Edvin Edvinsson) following up previous releases on Public Possession, Hivern Discs and Munich's Gomma. Dusty, lo-fi, '80's themed electronics are pervasive on the 'Gitts' EP: from the lo-slung movie soundtrack vibe of "Ojoj", to the moody and minimalist tribal rhythms of "Dingdong" which will hypnotise you into submission. Likewise, Klint saves the best for last on the tripped-out slo-mo psychedelia of "Eld".
Review: Cooper Saver is a Los Angeles-based DJ and producer, responsible for Far Away - a roaming party, cassette mixtape series and radio show on Dublab. He's spent a handful of years developing his sound as a busy remixer, most recognized for frequent remixes for DFA Records. It's only until now that his own original work is beginning to surface, following up tracks on Permanent Vacation is his debut 12'' on Prins Thomas' esteemed Internasjonal imprint. Features the dusted down yet still dirty acid jack of "Hill Street Beat". The ever impressive Brit Mat Karmil (Endless Flight) goes deeper on his rework of the track up next, then this is followed by the tunnelling EBM/techno crossover of "Star System" - which gets reworked by label boss Thomas with more dancefloor dynamics on his respectful remix.
Review: Five tracks here coming from that nebulous zone where deep and progressive/melodic house cross over and blur into one. The standout for this reviewer is 'Born Sleepy', which actually achieves the kind of big and epic feel that so many records of this ilk strive for and miss - a few festival spins from the right names and this could be HUGE! Elsewhere, 'Pacific Visions' itself owes a debt to the likes of Moroder, Robotnick and Baldelli, 'Surfline' is bleepy and twitchy and could find its way into minimal sets, while 'Cafe Tropical' is a beefy sundown groove in its original form before being given a stripped-back, percussive rerub by LA-based Turbotito (real name Filip Nikolic).
Review: If deep house of the variety that's best enjoyed from a sofa-based and herbally enhanced perspective is your bag, then check for this long-player by Italy's Daniele Tomassini, AKA Feel Fly, immediately! From the midtempo throb of opener 'Il Teorama Del Delirio', via the spaced-out near-ambience of the title track, the warm-up friendly pulsations of 'Dromo Celeste' and the sheer luxuriance of 'Arpini', to the more urgent, blissed-out 'Endless Truth' and 'Brzone23', it's a masterclass in mellow, late-night listening, and impeccably programmed so as to provide the perfect soundtrack to your next voyage into inner space.
Review: In tandem with Feel Fly aka Daniele Tomassini's debut album, Internasjonal present the first single from his opus titled "Il Teorema Del Delirio" and it's a lo slung, neon-lit and and absolutely reflective gem. Head honcho Prins Thomas then delivers a rework (Versione Tenace Acido) in his idiosyncratic style that features some good old fashioned 303 squelch for added dancefloor dynamics. This will be Tomassini's third release on the Norwegian imprint, the man from Perugia also records under the alias Vaisa and released on Too Romantic and Roots Underground.
Review: Swedish producer Harold Bjork released rather a lot of fine music earlier in the decade, including inspired early outings on Studio Barnhus, before the trail went cold four years ago. Earlier in 2020 he returned to action via a minimalistic melodic techno album on Cocoon, and now he's ready to release his second full-length of the year: a more expansive, musically rich and stylistically varied excursion on Internasjonal that adds an atmospheric Balearic edge to his drowsy, synth-heavy template. Highlights include the sparkling, uplifting shuffle of 'Zweifler', the tactile and immersive piano house twist of 'Cloudwalking', the Isolee style bliss of 'On The Dock' and the typically dubby, freewheeling Prins Thomas 'Diskomiks' of 'My Dag'.
Review: Prins Thomas's Internasjonal label may not be as high-profile or hyped as it once was, but there has been no dip in the quality of its occasional releases. For proof, check out this excellent EP from rising Spanish nu-disco star Ivan Fabra. EP opener "Pluck" is utterly gorgeous and life-affirming: a sparkling combination of spacey melodies, tough electronic beats and mind-altering nu-disco bass that's as entertaining and addictive as it is mind-altering. Gerd Jansen brilliantly re-imagines that track as a throbbing slab of trance-inducing space-house hypnotism, before Fabra returns with some spine-tingling ambient breakdowns, glassy-eyed melodies and chunky analogue bass on "Take a Break". Prins Thomas's acid-and-piano heavy accompanying remix is, of course, also superb.
Review: As Mano Le Tough's reputation continues to head skywards, the Irishman-in-Berlin makes a welcome return to Prins Thomas' Internasjonal label with another sterling three-tracker. Unlike his recent Stories EP on Buzzin Fly, In My Arms largely eschews intricately layered soundscape deep house in favour of prog disco sounds. Of course, the attention to detail and emotion-rich melodies remain, particularly on the slow building 10-minute epic "Those Lights Are Lives". "Dropping Bombs" is deliciously Norwegian in its feel (think early Magnus International), while the shuffling title track impresses with its woozy krautrock synths, scratchy vocal and mournful pianos. Great stuff... as usual.
Review: Given the fact that his first collaborative released dropped on 20:20 Vision way back in 2005, it's a surprise to find that Kosmiquest marks Gabriele 'Lele' Sacchi's full solo debut. Happily, the Milanese producer is in fine form, delivering an attractive blend of rubbery, synth-heavy bottom end, loose grooves, rough-cut disco touches and Kosmiche influences for Prins Thomas' long running International Feel label. The latter provides a typically epic and eccentric remix, adding a touch of acid and other psychedelic flourishes on a version that's notably Balearic in feel. The package's other rework comes from Philip Lauer, whose glassy-eyed, sunset deep house revision makes great use of bubbling acid bass, sweeping chords and tactile melodies.
Review: Prins Thomas adds another name to the ever-growing Internasjonal roster: Mathew Leutwyler. It's supposedly a pseudonym for Mexico-based Mathew Senick rather than something by German techno producer Mat Leutwyler - either way, the material on offer is worth checking. Flipside "Katya" is rather delightful. It features a winning combination of a long, shuffling percussion build, sparkling piano chords and some quality Balearic synth twiddles. "M55 Cluster" offers a bassier take on the Balearic nu-disco sound, while the more dancefloor centric "Ahuevo" pushes dreamy chord sequences and blissful synths to the fore to mesmerising effect. Excellent early morning material.
Review: Italy's Michele Mininni cites Krautrock, post-rock and Kosmische as influences alongside house and disco, and it shows on this latest offering. In its Original form, 'Fortuna' is a throbbing slab of electronic disco topped with flutes and sampled female vocal snips of Arabic, Turkish or Middle Eastern origin, and sports an extended synth solo that'll suit melodic/prog floors. The remix from Prins Thomas houses things up slightly while simultaneously bringing the ethnic elements further to the fore; the Red Axes Mix leans more towards techno while toning them down. Thomas takes the gold for this reviewer, but you pays your money and you makes your choice!
Review: The latest missive on Prins Thomas's Internasjonal label comes from previously unheralded trio Midnight Dicers, whose members include sometime Mahogani Music and Strictly Rhythm man Obas Nenor. Their original version, which boasts a pleasingly wonky vocal from Samy Morpheus, is pleasingly trippy, with psychedelic, effects-laden guitars crowding round a low-slung, pitched-down punk-funk groove. The headline remix comes from Ivan Smagghe and regular collaborator Rupert Cross, who serve up a more heavily electronic interpretation that draws influence from Italo disco and minimal wave. Arguably even more impressive is the Prins Thomas remix, which sees the Norwegian legend take the track further into intoxicating, cosmic disco territory. The trio's throbbing and intoxicating Dub completes a superb package.
Review: Word on the street is Prins Thomas whispered sweet nothings into the collective ears of Compost regulars Phreek Plus One during a hot summers Ibizan night last year in order to ensure that "La Spirale", the Italian trio's rasping strut through el clasico disco, was destined for his Internasjonal label. It finally sees release in time for the summer season, chugging along in a manner a legion of Soundcloud producers can only dream of and is complemented by a belter of a remix from Justin Vandervolgen. Allegedly the inspiration for Midnight Star's "Midas Touch", Vandervolgen has been on a constant ascent through quality production for far too long now, and his Love Boat remix sits comfortably alongside a recent storming Soft Rocks revision in contemporary classics, roughing up the groove without losing the vintage feel.
Review: Sound Support may be a new name, but the producers behind it - Lorenz Rhode and Detroit Swindle's Lars Dale - both have bags of experience. That shines through on this debut outing for Internasjonal, which sees them bounce between rubbery and colourful boogie-house fusion (ear-catching, emotive and piano-rich opener 'Stab By Stab'), musically layered and life affirming deep house/Afrobeat fusion (the superb 'Europe')and a smooth, synth laden blend of deep house and D-Train style electrofunk ('Catwalk', whose rolling synth-bassline is immense). Label co-founder Prins Thomas applies his magic 'Discomiks' touch to 'Europe', offering a deeper and far more delay-laden interpretation that pushes the duo's acid lines and Tony Allen inspired drums to the fore.
Review: Long before nu disco, edits and hipster beards became trendy, there was The Emperor Machine. Andy Meecham's studio project yielded a series of albums and EPs worth of oddball electronic disco, first on J Saul Kane's DC and then Southern Fried. After a short break, Meecham is back and never sounded so relevant. "2500 Edit" is a stuttering, atonal groove, while "System 700 Jam" sees him up the ante with a bleep-heavy, jacking groove. Label owner Prins Thomas delivers a more streamlined take on "2500" with a rolling, percussive take, before Meecham descends back into weirdness with the lo-fi, discordant "System 100 Jam".
Review: Analogue synth fetishist Andrew Meecham is back in action, delivering another EP full of wayward electronic treats under the now familiar Emperor Machine alias. Like its predecessor, release back in December 2016, 2500 Volume 2 is full of off-kilter treats that sound like the product of late night hardware jams. Check, for example, the fizzing, intergalactic electronics, bass-heavy thrust and acid-flecked drive of intense opener "U.M.O" and the John Carpenter-goes-to-Croatia synth-scape "Back to Bali". Arguably best of all, though, is the feverish late night workout "Africa V2", in which drum machine poly-rhythms are peppered with mind-bending noises and foreboding modular motifs. Wolf Muller's remix of that track, which blends Meecham's wild electronics with the German producer's own organic drums, is arguably even better.
Weekend Lights (Axel Boman's Trans Migg Upp remix) - (13:20) 122 BPM
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Japanese duo Traks Boys, whose last single dropped on Internasjonal way back in 2010. Happily, their return to action is something of a triumph. Turn your attention first to lead cut "Be With U", a thrillingly choppy and thrusting, off-kilter house cut where stabbing vocal samples, jumpy riffs and starry synth lines ride a bustling groove. Arguably even better, though, is "Weekend Lights", a gorgeously sunny, Balearic house excursion that sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a lingering Adriatic sunrise. Axel Boman's accompanying remix of the latter track, a meandering, loose and gently melodious affair that stretches to 13 minutes, is also superb.
Review: Here's an interesting proposition: a debut album from a hitherto unknown American producer on Prins Thomas' globally-focussed Internasjonal imprint. To say that Oregon-based musician Tridact has little previous pedigree, it's an impressive debut. Fusing fuzzy old analogue synths (think Stereolab or vintage kraut rock) with Balearic guitar flourishes, lazy disco grooves and sprightly electronic melodies, it's a jolly and at times utterly joyful set (see "J24 at Sunset", "Cold Star" and "Over The Clouds"). While comparisons can be made with, say, fellow American nu-Balearic twiddlers Windsurf or Hatchback, there's a freshness and rhythmic urgency that was lacking on those largely super laidback affairs. Well worth a listen.
Review: Internasjonal's latest must-have missive is a collaborative affair, with label chief Prins Thomas re-editing tracks jointly produced by MILR (AKA Studio Barnhus-signed duo Marco Gegenheimer and Einor Christofferssson) and Velmondo (Hivern Discs artist Amau Obiols). First up if formidable dancefloor weird-out "Hokhmah", a delightfully intoxicating fusion of hypnotic drum machine kicks, layered hand percussion, dubbed-out noises and delightfully psychedelic synthesizer lines. "The Avocado Jungle of Death" takes a deeper and more melodious approach to trippy tribal business - despite the presence of trance-inducing TB-303 style acid lines - while "Mad Honey" lives up to its title via chugging bass, jacking machine drums, layered percussion, surging hallucinatory electronics and creepy wind chimes.
Review: Hailing from Los Angeles and New York, it would be safe to assume that Addled, Slow Hands and Tom Croose can draw on a trunk full of musical influences. So far, their limited but impressive releases (see, in particular, the brilliant "Neves For None" on Future Classic) have painted an aural picture of a combo stuck somewhere between the West Coast wizardry of nu-Balearic adventurer Sorcerer, the San Francisco/New York disco dubbiness of the Rong Music label and the aural trippiness of Norway's Scandolearic masters (see early Lindstrom & Prins Thomas) - with more than a dash of Claremont 56/Mudd thrown in. Given their sound and success, its little surprise to see them popping up on Prins Thomas' Internasjonal label. They're a natural fit, especially when they indulge the Norwegian's notoriously silly sense of humour by calling their single "Billiards With A Midget". Even more thrillingly spaced-out than "Neves For None", it's a dubswise Balearic gem based around a delightfully lazy dub rhythm. For those with half an eye on the dancefloor, there are a couple of corking remixes to choose from. First, Prins Thomas himself gets out his drum kit, polishes down the synth marimbas and drops a Scandolearic disco chugger. Then, as if trying to outdo the Norwegian, Eric Duncan dons his Dr Dunks moniker, ups the tempo and lays down a seriously freaky space disco trip that should find fans within San Francisco's dub-disco community.
Review: Synthy, suitably spaced-out nu-disco is the order of the day on this three-tracker from Mexican duo Zombies In Miami, which is brought to you by Norway's Internasjonal label. 'Real De Catorce' opens proceedings, underpinned throughout by panned percussion and a pulsing two-note bassline while six-string flutterings and space-y 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'-like pads play on top. 'Space Is The Place' itself is a breakbeat-led concoction with more sci-fi synths and a rave-y buzz bassline, while completing the EP is 'Walking To Xilita', which brings yet more synth-bass and cinematic 'space' FX.