What is it this year already with those Scandinavians and their giant organs? First we have Pepe Deluxe holed up in a cave, writing epic tunes for underground instruments, and now we have Lindstrøm, sat on the organ stool in a cathedral, doing his best to emulate Philip Glass, with a torrent of notes to begin his latest magnum opus.
This being Lindstrøm though, there’s a lot more to his latest piece of work than that. After the exhilarating rush of the organ arpeggios on No Release his music threatens to level out to electro funk, as De Javu kicks in as part of a bid to whisk us off towards the dancefloor. But this is a bit misleading. For we should be advised that this album looks set to give us Lindstrøm the psychedelic prog rocker, the unpredictable maverick, for very little of it goes to structural form as the previous albums have done. It may well surprise anyone used to the slowly shifting ideas and longer structures of Where I Go You Go Too, as on Six Cups Of Rebel he frequently cuts loose to let his mad side out, working largely without a manifesto.
This includes more 1970s-derived psychedelic elements and heavier rhythmic kicks, but also bids for atonality in episodes such as the one kicking off Quiet Place To Live. “All I want is a quiet place to live!” proclaims the processed vocal – but the strutting rhythm and guitar posturing speak otherwise, and the track gets more distorted and manic as it progresses.
We should fear for Lindstrøm’s musical health in more areas than this though. Call Me Anytime is barely recognisable as his work for much of its duration. To begin with a volley of bass drums fizz out of the speakers, before a reassuringly fulsome kick drum arrives to support the frantic keyboard wizardry going on up above, and then the bid for freedom gathers pace, a whirlpool of keyboard textures going off the edge. The title track, meanwhile, brings out the edgy loops in a way that would satisfy the likes of Justice, before descending into weird, synthetic laughter.
Returning to the Pepe Deluxe comparison, it seems Lindstrøm has now decided to release his inner progressive, just like the Finnish duo have done with Queen Of The Wave. It suits him, for he doesn’t ever disappear too far up his backside, instead keeping an attentive ear on what his devotees might still want to hear. It might not be as cultured as previous efforts, but it’s hugely entertaining – even more so when played at high volume. “What kind of magic do you do?” asks Magik in hyperactive tones. There’s no response in the track itself, save for another shower of euphoric keyboard notes. And therein lies the answer.