Hans Peter Lindstrøm‘s career has been anything but linear, not an arc so much as a zig-zag pattern that ping-pongs back and forth between his proven track record of glorious space disco and his more experimental whims. An early peak arrived with the compilation It’s a Feedelity Affair, followed closely by the epic space excursions on 2008’s Where You Go I Go Too. From there, the Norwegian producer teamed up with pop diva Christabelle on 2010’s Real Life is No Cool before bending back to peculiar electro prog on 2012’s Six Cups of Rebel. As if to reset any expectations after the latter’s lukewarm critical response, Lindstrøm refreshed with the accessible and satisfying beats of Smalhans later that year, only to take another sharp turn with his collaboration with Todd Rundgren, Runddans. To say that any of us has any particular insight into where Lindstrøm is headed would be dishonest. He’s always in pursuit of something bigger and weirder, but the one constant he’s held to is an eventual return to the arpeggiated disco numbers that launched his career more than a decade ago.
Windings, a three-track, 23-minute EP, reinforces that recalibration of instincts. Lindstrøm might well be drawn to unexpected collaborations and ambitious conceptual projects, but the dancefloor is seemingly where he always feels at home. Windings bears that out explicitly and infectiously across its relatively brief tracklist—one with essentially no interruption to the groove. Each of its three songs finds the veteran producer laying down four-on-the-floor beats against a hypnotic, unapologetically ’80s-sounding bed of synths. Inability to move to each of these tracks seems like an impossibility. They compel you to do so.
Leadoff track “Closing Shot,” with its giddy handclap percussion and buoyantly buzzing synth bassline, is pure hedonism in motion. It’s not necessarily rare that disco ends up sounding this fun, but considering the seriousness to which Lindstrøm takes so much of his more concept-based material, it’s refreshing to hear. That it didn’t end up in our roundup of 2016 Summer Jams feels like a mistake on my part. Yet its tracklist companions are similarly irresistible, be it the ethereal echoes of synth on “Algorytme” or the atmospheric, late-nite pulse of stellar closing track “Foehn.” Given that this is just a three-track EP, it runs the risk of being overlooked as a minor Lindstrøm release, but there’s also not anything close to a bad number on it. Eventually he’ll get back to something much more ambitious and weird, and he’ll find new ways to stretch what he can do with disco. It’s just nice to hear that making great dance music is still something he can pull off better than most.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.