- A little over a decade ago, Prins Thomas—real name Thomas Moen Hermansen—was hailed as a pioneer of the space disco sound, initially through his work on Eskimo Records with Hans-Peter Lindstrøm. Since then, though, Hermansen has, like Lindstrøm, loosened his ties to that sound. Recent years have seen him experimenting with sleek kosmische via the Principe Del Norte LP and the low-key jam sessions of Square One, coproduced by Bjørn Torske. Yet some of his most satisfying work has come when he's edged back towards his cosmic origins—last year's Toransu EP, for example, was laced with interstellar keys and melodies.
His latest LP, Prins Thomas 5, is a less extravagant take on space disco. It was produced soon after Principe Del Norte and at the same time as Square One—as with those LPs, there's an ease to much of Prins Thomas 5. That's due in part to its bouncy yet gentle basslines, as on the dreamy "Venter På Torske," and "Villajoyosa," which surrounds its robo-disco low end with aqueous synths, bubbling keys and chiming guitars. That guitar is another common thread running through the LP. The drowsy strumming that leads "Ø," for instance, provides a warm bed for angular keys and jittery percussion. Another motif is a tremolo organ tone, which lends a haunted aura to the somnambulant "Bronchi Beat"—conceived, Hermansen says, while "heavily influenced by prescription cough medicine"—and emotional uplift to the loose-limbed "Lunga Strada."
The LP's calmest moments are its standouts. The gentle beat, sweet bassline, percolating keys and sighing synths of "Αθήνα" summon an idyllic feel. The near-ambient flutter of "London Til Lisboa" would make a perfect companion to a sunrise. The shimmering tones of "Aske Hermansen," hovering over a meandering bassline, give the song a sense of melancholy—no surprise, since the track was, according to Hermansen, "made on the road missing my wife and kids." As with much of Prins Thomas 5, it shows that he's shaped his music into something that's both intimate and universal.
01. Here Comes The Band
03. Bronchi Beat
07. Lunga Strada
08. London Til Lisboa
10. Venter På Torske
11. Aske Hermansen