Space-disco master Hans-Peter Lindstrøm has teamed up with esoteric vocalist Christabelle to record one of 2010’s most elegant outings: Real Life Is No Cool.
Norwegian space-disco master Hans-Peter Lindstrøm has solidified his legend by recording blissed-out instrumental monoliths like the 20-minute epics on Where You Go I Go Too. But Lindstrøm has also released a pair of great singles, 2003's "Music (In My Mind)" and 2007's "Let's Practise", both featuring a singer then named Solale. Listeners that liked those songs are in for some good news: Lindstrøm has teamed up once again with Solale – who now records under the moniker Christabelle. The end result is the stunning album Real Life Is No Cool out now on Smalltown Supersound.
A taster from the album: Lindstrøm & Christabelle’s Lovesick meets True Blood:
In addition to a string of very positive reviews in the domestic music press, Real Life is No Cool has already racked up an impressive list of strong international reviews since its January 19th release.
Writes Pitchforkmedia.com in their Lovesick review: -Real Life Is No Cool … constitutes a fresh new take on the strand of retro-futurism that Lindstrøm helped create. The main difference is that whereas a lot of his output has been rooted in a genre-- disco, Balearic, new age-- Real Life Is No Cool often feels more like an attack on the very idea. It's almost as if Lindstrøm's response to years of genre exercise has been to atomise all of his influences into mist. What remains is a free-floating collection of sounds that not only still works as pastiche, but also somehow provides the basis for a remarkable dance record.
Writes XLR8R’s Shawn Reynaldo: After hearing Where You Go I Go Too, a three-song, 55-minute opus, one might not expect Lindstrøm to follow it up with a pop-disco collaboration like Real Life Is No Cool. As it turns out, the Norwegian superproducer has been intermittently working with Christabelle since 2001 and all the years of back-and-forth were clearly worth it, as Real Life is simply stellar. While traces of Lindstrøm's usual space disco dot the landscape, the album incorporates an '80s disco-funk vibe that perfectly suits Christabelle's loose and sultry vocal stylings. From the vocoders and horns of "Baby Can't Stop" to the woozy synths and boy-girl vocal foreplay of "Let It Happen" to the sexy strut of "Lovesick," Real Life is a carefree delight.
Writes Prefixmag: - Throw away the terms "space disco" and "balearic" for this album, even though there is something there, in the way that the tracks seem to reach toward infinity. But the more appropriate descriptor for this album, the simple "cool," is so nebulous and elusive that it's fairly wondrous how they managed to create it at all. It likely has a lot to do with the alternately enthusiastic, aloof, earnest, and esoteric vocal contributions from Christabelle, whose presence really floods every single track on Real Life Is No Cool from the Moroder synth propelled (but strikingly not Italo) "Looking for What" to the sensual funk of "High & Low." Christabelle is only flooding ice, though, because Lindstrøm's production is consistently, chillingly Scandinavian, even in the album's warmest track, "Music In My Mind," and the album's most obvious single, "Baby Can't Stop," which is strongly and supernaturally remniscent of "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough." Ambient albums normally concentrate on the goal of creating a mood, because they lack easy pop structures and have to get the listener's attention another way. Real Life Is No Cool is essentially all pop structures. It's maybe an accident that Lindstrøm and Christabelle's project so successfully feels like something hip and modern, like a photograph hung in a museum or cut from an obscure magazine that's suddenly become part of the landscape.
Lindstrøm & Christabelle on Spotify