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.
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.