Norwegian house and dance music is a fun quirk-filled curiosity. It carries a bit more sophistication than stateside electronica. It’s not quite as dark as its German counterparts. But it’s slightly more serious than some of the UK offerings. It’s also minimal, melodic, and meandering, playing against expectations while delivering exactly what works. I’m generalizing, or course. And there’s plenty of exceptions to go around. I guess, what I’m really trying to say is Norwegian house is uniquely its own thing, standing apart while remaining a part of the whole.
This brings me to longtime Norwegian producer Lindstrøm, a.k.a. Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, a name synonymous with his homeland’s electronic music inclinations. His instrumental track “Drift” caught me a bit off guard earlier today. I was cleaning up some playlists, when this warm funky rhythm popped on, almost synth-pop, slightly disco, and filled with an organic euphoria.
“Drift” embodies much of what I like about Norwegian electronica. Beneath the synths and sequencers, I feel actual instrumentation, less abstracted and more composed. It’s undoubtedly rhythmic, eccentric in composition, yet grounded in execution. I’ve read that Lindstrøm does play all his own instruments – guitars, bass, drums, keys, etc. – even if technology aids in the final assembly. But his approach seems centered on keeping sounds rooted in the natural order.
This one also carries an aura of comfort and familiarity, exuding a genuine warmth in its rhythmic structures and melodic progressions. And at slightly under 8 minutes, it surprisingly never feels repetitive, subtly evolving in unexpected ways that remain focused on its journey. Perhaps, that’s why it’s called “Drift,” less concerned about the destination, more drawn to the sights and sounds along the way.
Lindstrøm’s “Drift” is a fine example of Norwegian house and dance music. And it’s as good a jumping off point as any, for those who’d like an introduction. Also, it’s the type of electronica that can appeal to those who typically don’t gravitate towards it. So whatever your preference, give this one a listen and see where it takes you. “Drift” is a journey, and you’ll definitely end up somewhere.
“Drift” from the 2017 album “It’s Alright Between Us As It Is.”