If not for singles, dance music wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. Anybody who’s ever been to a club, or even a high school dance, knows that you don’t get a crowd moving with a concept album or a song cycle. No, you need the hits; the beats, the choruses, the hooks—these are what make the people move, what cause hips to sway, arms to flail, and drinks to spill. This is the art form that made Cabaret Voltaire, New Order, The Chemical Brothers, The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Depeche Mode and even Duran Duran such reliably exciting dancefloor fillers. Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is of the same ilk, a master of the disco single, many of which he has released through his own Feedelity imprint, and which are collected on the compilation, It’s a Feedelity Affair.
Dating back to 2003 with the hand-clappy electro gems “Fast & Delirious” and “Limitations,” Affair is essentially a career retrospective for Lindstrøm, who makes danceable electro so fluid and listenable, the rave need not exist for one to truly take in the rhythms. Yet, should they happen to be bumping at the nearest discotheque, a little gyrating is definitely in order. From these simpler early two tracks, the disc moves on to the exotic “Music (In My Mind)”, a rare vocal track featuring Christabelle. Still, despite the sexy breathy voice heading this track, the framework is still the same—synthetic, pulsating bass, offset with ethereal, melodic, and even somewhat funky harmonization.
What’s most captivating about It’s a Feedelity Affair, on top of merely having some of the best Euro-disco you’re likely to hear, is that the Norwegian producer is so chameleonic with his style. From lush strands of instrumental vibrancy to more robotic simplicity in other tracks, Lindstrøm isn’t one to remain stagnant. “Cane It For the Original Whities” and “There’s a Drink in My Bedroom and I Need a Hot Lady,” aside from having the most entertaining titles, pile on the funk basslines and strut-worthy beats, merely begging for a leather jacket and tight pants in which to do so. These tracks just may be the ideal atmosphere for the drink and hot lady in your bedroom, gents. Yet “I Feel Space” is more straightforward in its uptempo synth-happiness. More handclaps abound, throbbing bass and a slick airy sheen in tow. And just to take it in one more different direction entirely, “Arp She Said” slows it down and adds some Latin flavored rhythms.
Top everything off with the newest, most urgent track (which features, of all things, banjo), “The Contemporary Fix,” and you’ve got one hell of a dance compilation. Not always one to be entrenched in house music and disco, I initially grew suspicious of the raves (pun intended?) heaped upon Lindstrøm’s beat chemistry. But to hear Lindstrøm is to understand what makes disco last in spite of trends changing and tastes evolving. A good beat is really all you need, sometimes.
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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.