Prins Thomas - Live at Robert Johnson

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  • On this live mix Prins Thomas re-earns his reputation as one of trippy disco's mighty overlords. Recorded live at the intimate Robert Johnson club in Frankfurt, it's much less overtly weird and wonky than Thomas' two-disc Cosmo Galactic Prism, but still retains the stylish inventiveness that has made the man into a de facto statesman for disco's recent rehabilitation. After following Thomas on such a wild affair, however, you'd be forgiven for wondering what exactly disco is: it's by turns churning, spacey, dense, minimalist, throbbing, pointillistic, heartless and impassioned. From there you might start to wonder why classifying music by genre is useful at all. Thomas' eclecticism never comes off as contrived or show-offy, but rather as though he never learned genre distinctions in the first place, appearing like a disco Kasper Hauser, ignorant of civilized custom, bearing his own wild, intuitive perspective. This is a romantic myth, of course: great talent only looks like it fell out of the sky - most of the time you need a shit-ton of blood, sweat and tears in practice and experience to make it look this easy. The individual tracks here merit attention: On hand are a number of recent standout tunes as well as several deep-dug classics. Rub-N-Tug's remix of Capracara's "King of the Witches" feels particularly on point, its sudden explosion of invigorating vocals over '80s-house clatter an exemplary case of the mix's easter egg delights. Another such egg is the face-melting guitar solo on Still Going's Low Motion Disco remix—but don't-blink-or-you'll-miss its arena-rock fire-burning get doused by the folky emo-yearn of James Yuill's "This Sweet Love." This is followed (of course!) by the lysergic Masseira-madness of "Le Stress" by Dogs of War, all phased-out alien kitsch and bestial grunting. If you wanted to chart an out-disco family tree with Thomas and Lindstrøm as the nuclear couple, then Masseira's the creepy uncle in the attic, too weird for extended quality time, but still bearing an inescapable influence. Thomas takes things home with Steel N Skin's "Afro Punk Reggae (Dub)," a lost gem whose four-genre mash-up title neatly sums up Thomas' own relentlessly polyglot practices. Art can mimic nature by appearing unpredictable and familiar at the same time, the bearer of what feels like its own internal logic, forever beyond the reach of understanding. We often say that transitions and selections in a good mix are effective when they feel natural, when they conceal the role of human decision—thus when Trans Am's laser-guided prog rock erupts in the middle of things here, it doesn't surprise or interrupt at all, it belongs to the world the mix is describing. Fluid and organic, it unfolds in a sprawling topography, abundant with peaks and valleys, a reminder that one of the primary ways in which Prins Thomas and his cohort Lindstrøm have reconfigured disco is by leading it from the dance floor out into the open country: The Robert Johnson club becomes a travel simulator, the mix becomes a black-box tape of the flight of the disco navigator.
  • Tracklist
      01. A very small Intro 02. Arpadys - Funky Bass (Idjut Boys Version) 03. Cage & Aviary - Giorgio Carpenter 04. Capracara - King of Witches (Rub N Tug Remix) 05. Trans Am - First Words 06. Map of Africa - Wyatt Urp 07. Bjørn Torske - Kokt Kveite 08. Käre & The Cavemen - Gallery Oslo 09. Babytalk - Chance (Babytalk Remix) 10. Frankie Valentine - Zumbi (Isoul8 Remix) 11. Low Motion Disco - Love Love Love (Still Going Remix) 12. James Yuill - This Sweet Love (Prins Thomas Re-Edit) 13. Dogs Of War - Le Stress 14. Cos/Mes - Build The Band 15. Ricardo Villalobos - Waiworinao 16. Anarchic System - Generation (Long Version) 17. Argy & The Mole - Cantstandlovegetaway 18. Martin Circus - Disco Circus 19. Opolopo - I Do (Domu Discotech Mix Ð Intrumental) 20. Acid Test - Test 1 21. Mathew Jonson - Followed By Angels 22. Samos - Alpha Storm (Original) 23. Sébastien Tellier - Sexual Sportswear 24. Closer Musik - Maria 25. Lindstrøm - Contemporary Fix (Bjørn Torske Remix) 26. Steel an' Skin - Afro Punk Reggae (Dub) 27. A very small Outro