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Norwegian Nights

The last five years of dance music arguably belongs to Scandinavia, as the contribution of Swedish and Norwegian artists has greatly influenced the development of numerous electronic genres. Lindstrøm, often touted as the creator of ‘nu-disco’, is no exception. Yet, for this humble artist who prefers a night at home with his family over the loud, chaotic confines of a club, the path to his current cult-like status within the dance music world has been anything but ordinary.

For most people who call Stavanger, Norway home, a career working the North Sea oil fields beckons – Hans-Peter Lindstrøm chose to make contemporary disco instead. The 37 year old music producer laughs off any idea that the petroleum industry, like so many of his fellow Stavangerians, should have been his inevitable fate. “I guess I could have been a rich oilman now, if I was paying any attention to the classes at school instead of thinking about music all the time.”

Exposed to song at a young age, Lindstrøm grew up on a diet of country and western, with gospel thrown in for good measure. At the age of eight he could usually be found in front of a piano or cradling a guitar, attempting to mimic whatever he heard on the radio. “I’ve been into a lot of different music over the years, which I believe is a good thing,” he says. “But after a while I was getting curious about the sounds that were played in nightclubs in the late 1990s. Later I realised that a lot of this house music was influenced by much of the music I was familiar with, such as gospel, funk and soul.”

Moving to Oslo for university, he bought a sampler, borrowed a few house records and started to create electronic music, which he readily admits he didn’t fully understand at the time. Lindstrøm credits this lack of knowledge for his eventual artistic success as it “freed him from any preconceived notions of style and trend parameters”.

Although critics and record stores alike box his music into neat and tidy categories, Lindstrøm is not a fan of pigeon-holing. “I don’t really like thinking about music as different genres. The most interesting kind of music is those songs that mix a little bit of everything into something new and exciting. I focus more on musical elements, combining bits and pieces that don’t necessarily fit together.”

Thus his music is often hard to define. He is equally comfortable creating power pop with Norwegian vocalist Christabelle Solale – generous portions of Giorgio Moroder samples, otherworldly melodies and clever electro flourishes all layered over drugged-out basslines – as he is making atmospheric soundscapes that wouldn’t feel out of place echoing of the cliff walls of his local fjord. Since beginning his meteoric rise over half a decade back, his artistic offerings, typically released on his personal Feedelity label, have been readily embraced by both casual listeners of electronic music and the hardcore hipster underground.

Having given up on DJing several years ago, Lindstrøm’s performances focus on creating his own music ‘live’ using his small, travelling studio consisting of a laptop running Ableton Live and several MIDI controllers. “My setup is very simple, which is rather convenient when travelling around the world,” he says. “Admittedly, it’s not the most impressive setup, but too many things on stage just take away the focus from my performance and the actual music I’m trying to create.”

10 December. Lindstrøm @ Club Mao. 46 Yueyang Lu, near Dongping Lu. Price: RMB 180 (pre-sale), RMB 250 (at door). Live set starts at midnight.


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