Like one of his endlessly building tracks, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is only moving further upwards. The Norwegian space-disco wizard’s new EP, Windings, is three tracks of that now-classic sound closely associated with Lindstrøm’s name: skyward synths, effervescent rhythms, and melodies that spiral beautifully into the great unknown. This is Lindstrøm in the zone—and if you’ve been paying close attention over the last decade, it’s a zone he’s never left. Recorded over the past year, Windings represents Lindstrøm’s latest crystallization of the aesthetic that the greater world was introduced to on the 2006 compilation It’s a Feedelity Affair, as well as the tangy pop of 2012’s masterful Smalhans. This isn’t to say Lindstrøm’s repeating himself—far from it, in fact. Windings finds our arpeggiator-obsessed hero refining an aesthetic that already sounded perfect—a zenith that, much like the music itself, hits new peaks even when it seems that there’s no more ceiling to breach. “I wanted to go back to the fun part of making music,” Lindstrøm explains. “It’s been fun before as well, but I feel more pressure when I make albums—singles and EPs are more fun.” And Windings is certainly fun—this is pure, uncut Lindstrøm, with maximalist melodic pleasures paced with surgeon-like precision. “Closing Shot,” Windings’ impeccable eight-minute opening track, possesses all the raw ambition of Lindstrøm’s 2008 classic Where You Go I Go Too in miniature form, with gleaming, diamond-like synths twisting and tangling over handclaps and a cheeky bassline. “Algorytme” playfully bumps and grinds before reaching a melodic breakdown destined to blow minds on dancefloors as it elicits massive grins; and the gently swinging rhythm and playful synth runs of “Foehn” makes for the perfect closer, a cyclical stunner that spins mesmerizingly like a mirrorball. Reliable without sounding complacent and expansive while sounding impossibly self-contained, Windings is the latest reminder that Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is on an unbelievable run. It’s an impressive display of virtuoso talent that only the stars can contain, and a dizzying collection of tracks that, as ever, test the limits of achieving total bliss and reaching towards total artistic infinity.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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