Lindstrøm – Six Cups of Rebel

This LP is a daft Euro stomp, a gloss fest paying homage to Yello’s über-smooth vision: by turns Baroque on a scale only attempted by PP Rubens and as plastic and chrome-laden as any car that Sabrina drives.

 

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A record that has something of the maniacal preacher about it, Six Cups of Rebel is by turns a euphoric experience and something that seems to be operating on its own idea of time and space. One thing, you can be sure we are dealing with an artist who is trying to carve out his own horizon, however daft and “ersatz”.

Two things struck me on the first couple of listens; the similarity to the 70s LPs of Klaus Schultze and George Clinton, more in terms of respective head space than any stylistic similarities. Lindstrøm’s opener, No Release is an ever revolving spiral, a drill boring towards the light that just seems to defy any idea of rules of how to begin a record on that very simple, prosaic level as purely “something to listen to”. This is a very similar approach to the opening moments on Satz Ebene off Irrlicht, a track which later led Schultze to joke that the dizzying sonic free-fall he attempted from the off persuaded the orchestra he had hired to record it into thinking he was a madman. Yep…

There are more nods to Schultze with Call Me Anytime and the title track, which upgrade and reequip the sun-drenched hippy trance of Moondance with a tougher, harder digital coating. And then there are hints of the daft choruses and the silly/profound messages that Clinton liberally basted all his 70’s Funkadelic releases with: the way the voices sound on De Javu and Magik have something of the Undisco Kid or Hardcore Jollies about them. 

A sonic mix of the cosmic and the trickster then; best experienced in the last track Hina, where the leisurely and at times vapid progression towards some form of chill-out Nirvana is stopped about seven minutes in, when a whole set of diverse gloopy beast force their presence on the track like hail on a roof. That the track has a flavour of the TEE to guide it along its path and that it tails out using a sample of the opener are just reminders - to me at least - of where Lindstrøm is “at”.

It’s important to keep reminding yourself that Six Cups of Rebel isn’t in any way a dry academic exercise in raking over old musical coals. It’s a great celebratory record, too. This is the music Queen would have made if they were deejays .The funny Quiet Place to Live takes a genuine plea (one we all share I’m sure) and morphs it into a camp anthem, gives it a Golem-like form so that it can trample unreservedly over any other considerations we have: now that’s a conceit Freddie & co specialised at. No, this LP is a daft Euro stomp, a gloss fest paying homage to Yello’s über-smooth vision: by turns Baroque on a scale only attempted by PP Rubens and as plastic and chrome-laden as any car that Sabrina drives. A marvellous record that’s full of simple and daft fun, and one that looks to curate and promote a grand tradition.