A couple of years ago, Lindstrom released “I Feel Space,” a thesis for the loose genre of “space disco.” Yeah, yeah, we know. But it was a sensible tag for the pulsar beat he’d harnessed. Must have taken him 40000 synthesizers (and a coupla hand drums for good measure). Since then, Lindstrom has incrementally inched away from the steady beats and big BPMs, first with his curious, expansive Where You Go I Go Too, which is basically an hour long track (that sounds pretty meditative played at 33—get the vinyl). His most recent release, a collaboration with singer Christabelle, Real Life is No Cool is an ’80s + ’90s pop masterpiece, slinky and crystalline, a little slow and decadent, something for a different kind of dancefloor than he’s used to. Lindstrom is stateside for three shows, tonight in San Francisco, Saturday in New York City and Sunday in Chicago. We talked to him from Norway about what what he’d be playing and doing, and how he’d be sounding.
Are you excited about coming to the US? What are you going to do when not in a club?
My schedule is super tough. I will probably get like four hours sleep on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday because I’m doing three shows in three different cities. I don’t think I get time to do anything, but everyone loves walking around New York and San Francisco because it’s very different than here. I’m hoping to get myself an iPad because it hasn’t arrived in Norway yet.
Do you want to produce with it? Or play with it?
I’m going to try using it as a controller for one gig.
I saw that Richie Hawtin has been playing with one, using it live, doing something technical that I don’t understand.
I’m not big with using wireless networks live because things can happen, like wireless MIDI keyboards. I’m just curious, that’s probably the first thing I’m going to do when I arrive.
The last time I saw you, your set was very open. Your most recent record, with Christabelle, is more poppy and it feels more like a band than a producer. How are you going to translate that into your live sets?
Christabelle is not joining me, so I’ll have to do the vocals myself. [ed: He's joking] It’s always a problem for me to adapt my material to a live setting because most of the music I’m releasing isn’t club music, like big anthems that trance DJs play. Like “High and Low” and a lot of the poppish tracks on the recent album and different stuff before, I’ve never really played live because nobody is interested in going to a club and listening to 78BPM. I guess I’m trying to mix everything together in some kind of club-friendly way. I’m not sure if it works or if it’s going to be a big failure. Most DJs—and I’m one of the poppier live performers—are just trying to make things as loud as possible and hard, and it may work in certain contexts, but it doesn’t feel right for me to do that. What I’m doing is a little bit to the left of what people are expecting. But I just have to whatever feels right to me. In some ways I don’t really look at myself as a DJ anymore because I’m always performing my own music and it’s more like a live DJ performance thing. If people want to dance that’s fine with me, if not that’s also fine with me. My audience has been changing since when I released my Feedelity 12-inches and after working with Smalltown, it’s much more people listening to both club music and rock music. No matter what kind of music, if it’s good music it’s going to wider, at least that’s the feeling I get. In the end, I just have to go on stage and do my thing. Hopefully people will like it.