November 29, 2006
Dance music isn't really my thing. However, when someone comes along and makes intelligent, interesting dance music, (not IDM, per se--just because the term has the word intelligent" in it doesn't mean everything that bears such a genre description actually is) I have to set aside my inability to dance and appreciate the music for what it is--good. Thus, when I received a copy of Swedish dance mastermind Lindstrøm's compilation, "It's A Feedelity Affair", I didn't really know what to make of it. The cover is stark, minimalist, and reminiscent of Windham Hill, but the music inside is catchy, grooving, and impressive disco compositions that recall Giorgio Moroder. One listen to Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's collections of twelve-inch sides had me interested; the second listen had me--an admitted anti-disco non-club going recluse with not one iota of rhythm in my feet--dancing around the room and really, really getting the grooves of such songs as "I Feel Space" and "There's a Drink in My Bedroom and I Need a Hot Lady." I think I even danced. So I caught up with Mr. Lindstrøm via email, to talk about his music and his artistic aesthetic.
Tell me a little bit about your artistic approach to twelve-inch singles. Do you compose songs in a different manner than you would for an album of material? Do you prefer the conciseness and the limited amount of time that a side of vinyl has to offer?
Yeah, putting out 12"s is the easy way out. You only need a few tracks, and then you’ve got a new 12". The way I've been working on my 12"s is just to try all kinds of stuff in different genres. Writing for an album is much more time-consuming, and I kind of feel that I need a "vision" or a set of ideas to do a whole album. That’s the reason why I consider "it's a feedelity affair" a compilation more than an album. Writing for 12"s doesn't involve too much time, and if I'm efficient, I can finish a 12" in a month or so. Until now this has been my preferred way of putting out music. These days I'm working on album-tracks, and that's another story. Maybe I'm not ready for it yet...heh.
To me, the title "I Feel Space" recalls Giorgio Moroder's "I Feel Love." Is it a tribute to Moroder, and do you consider him an influence on your work?
Yeah, I was inspired by that track when I made it. Moroders bass-arpeggio is maybe one of the most powerful arpeggios I know, and it sounds REALLY massive on a good sound system. He's definitely an influence, but I wouldn't say it's a tribute. Those two tracks don't sound the same--at least in my opinion.
Listening to your music, it's hard to ignore the emotional element of your work. What drew you to dance music--was it the ability to experiment with sound, or was it the ability to manipulate the mood of a dance floor full of people with a simple melody?
Heh, it was the possibility to work alone. With all the musical elements from beats to melodies, I was tired of compromising when playing in bands, and I've always been interested in studio-work and the construction of a song. Also it's a lot easier to work alone with electronic repetitive music with a sampler, since I didn't have studio-facilities such as the possibility to record on 24 channels. I started with a crappy digital Korg 8-track, and then a computer with very limited power. But now, since computers offer such amounts of power, everybody can buy a "fully equipped" studio for very low money. Anyway, I'd say I'm probably more interested in experimenting with sounds than manipulating a dance crowd.
When you are on stage, whether it be Ibiza, Miami, LA, or Paris, does the power of motivating people intoxicate you? Do you find that different cities and different continents respond differently to your work, or is there a commonality to a crowd's emotional response to your music?
I still haven't been to Miami, LA or Ibiza yet :o) What I like about playing my music "live" is trying out new stuff I've been working on. Listen to how it sounds on a big sound system and watch the reaction of the crowd. And yes, I find there are big differences from city to city and country to country. In some clubs, the resident DJ(s) has been playing my music in their sets, so the crowd knows some of my tracks. And then sometimes I get the feeling that people doesn't understand what I'm doing at all, and the only reason why I've been invited is because the promoter or resident DJ wants to change the musical direction of the club, and therefore invites me to play. Most of the time there's at least one person who comes to see me, which is enough for me!!! Hehe
What other projects do you have forthcoming?
There are a few new 12"s and remixes in the pipeline. I'm also working an album or two. And some more... :o)
It's a Feedelity Affair is available now on Feedelity