It’s been a chameleonic year for Prins Thomas. 2017 saw the DJ/producer spend most of his time over at Smalltown Supersound, kicking off the year in sober ambience with “Principe Del Norte” and its remixes; traversing rocky shores with Bjørn Torske on “Square One”; and heading into the future with the white label release of Blade Runner’s end titles. It only seems apt then that he signs off the year on his own eponymous label, Prins Thomas, picking up the numerically labelled releases up again from III with V, with “Principe del Norte” unofficially claiming the title IV.
Recorded in 2016, V is Prins Thomas on familiar ground, combining elements of Disco, House, Nu-Groove and synth wave in what has commonly been refereed to as Space Disco, but is the undeniable sound of Prins Thomas at play. In the album format, he feigns from the perfunctory, and instead indulges a more melodic disposition where synthesisers croon and percussive elements bounce along at a reserved pace.
There’s a familiar sonic nostalgic palette informing V, which combine a diverse range of influences and references, and coalesces not in a specific era or style, but rather the artistic personality of Prins Thomas. From the formulaic acid lines of “Æ” to the gated toms and icy guitar riffs of “Venter På Torske” or even the Kwaito (UK Funky) vibe of “Ø”, the individual parts might be a bevy of clichés, but combined they forego the obvious. Throughout V there is this intangible familiarity because of this and it creates a listening experience that is like discovering that obscure b-side from a favourite band.
Prins Thomas does move slightly away from the lo-fi Full Pupp sound on this record, and it makes sense appearing on his own label. V closes off yet another monumental year for the Norwegian producer and it deserves its spot on our shelf as the album of the week.