When Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas get together, expect the unexpected. The Norwegian production duo's third album III is also their first outing together in eleven years, since II from 2009—and as ever, Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas have crafted their own unique sonic world between the two of them. This is expansive, luscious electronic music rich with texture and intricacy, patiently revealing every eccentricity while constantly pulling the listener in. Getting lost never sounded so good.
Since the release of II, Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas have remained more than busy with their respective solo careers, but work on III was taking place behind the scenes the whole time—slow and steady by sending files back and forth. "There's a different process with every album," Thomas explains. "With the first two albums, we had a door between separate rooms in the studio, so I could open my door and play him something. We also toured together a lot after the first album, and after that experience we realized that we work better together at a distance. We're doing our best work by not worrying too much about what the other one of us is doing."
Eventually, the bulk of III came together over the last year, as Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas teamed up to craft a lush and lovely work that recalls the hazy atmospherics of Air, the loose-fit jazz of Lonnie Liston Smith, and the genre-resistant electronic music that both artists have made their name on over the course of their impressive careers. "Our partnership is very democratic—we never turn down each other's ideas. And if it goes wrong, we blame it on the other guy," Thomas says with a laugh. "The tracks that Lindstrøm sent me this time were almost like standard house tracks. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I forced those tracks into new shoes and dresses."
And what tailoring, too: there's the zig-zagging synths stretched across “Grand Finale" and the rumbling storm of “Small Stream," which takes the pair's predilection for endlessly ascending melodies and coats it in layers of gorgeous fog. III is an unexpectedly subtle album, but don't mistake that descriptor for suggesting that this music is subdued. Listening to it is like taking a microscope to a petri dish—the further you zoom in, the more your naked eyes (or, in III's case, ears) can witness an environment teeming with life and kinetic energy.
Above all else, III is a testament to the adventurousness of Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas when it comes to soundcraft. Both artists have established separate careers on bodies of work that feature infinite twists and turns, thrilling their audiences with the suggestion of where they've been and where they're about to go. Together, they've crafted what might be their most beguiling and inviting work yet, a jeweled box of electronic music ornately crafted but never losing the sense of playfulness that so many have come to love from them.