He may be based in Oslo, but Lindstrøm’s machine-made disco tracks sound as though they were formed in outer space. That’s still the case on the widely-named ‘space disco king’’s latest LP, Everyone Else Is A Stranger, which features four heart-wrenching, euphoric moments for late-night discotheques.
Lindstrøm – real name Hans-Peter Lindstrøm – lets us take a look at his impressive studio, an industrial space strangely once used by the Bandidos Motorcycle Club that looks over the Alna River. He tells us about how he kicks off tracks on his bulging modular rack, then builds on this with vintage synthesizers and funnels everything through chunky hardware processors.
Hey, Lindstrøm! Your studio is incredible. What’s the story?
Thank you. I’ve been here for two years. My room is located in an old industrial complex, formerly used by Bandidos Motorcycle Club, that’s been turned into a thriving hub of local creative and social activity.
There are all kinds of nice people here doing woodwork, ceramics, sewing and everything in between. My former studio space was located downtown facing a dusty backyard. This new room has a wonderful overview of the Alna River, as well as the only primeval forest area in the inner city.
I’ve been treating the room using bass traps and rock wool tiles and, although I’m not an expert at room treatment, I’m happy with the results.
What’s your favourite area of the studio? And where do your tracks usually start?
My modular rack is where I always gravitate towards, mainly because it’s an endless source of inspiration and new ideas. Also, all my drums live in my modular rack, and the Roland CR-78, TR-606 and Linndrum get sync and triggers from here.
What I also love about the modular gear is that it’s a huge customisable wall of whatever I want it to be; drums, synth voices, mixers, modulation, sequencers, samplers – you name it. I love having everything in one rack, even though I much prefer big synthesizers with full-size knobs and keys such as my Yamaha CS-60 and the Moog MemoryMoog.
Is vintage hardware essential to your space disco sound?
Yes, it’s become essential to me in the last 10-15 years. Before that, I couldn’t afford much more than a computer with cracked software and a MIDI keyboard. My track I Feel Space was made only with VST plugins such as Native Instruments FM-7 and Pro-53 in around 2003/2004.
I find it much more engaging to play and record my Moog Model D instead of using a mouse and a mapped MIDI controller while staring into the computer, even though recent soft-synths from companies like Softube sound more than close enough to the original instruments they are trying to emulate.
What’s your favourite piece of gear in the studio?
My trusty old Roland Juno-106 gets used almost every time I’m making music. It’s the synthesizer that I’ve been using since I was 14 years old, and even though it’s not the exact same Juno-106, it’s still a very dear instrument to me. It’s my bread-and-butter synth – it’s almost impossible to make it sound bad. I will never get rid of it!
And is there a recent piece of gear you’ve fallen in love with?
Recently, I’ve been moving focus away from the computer and my DAW of choice (Reaper), and instead, I’ve been using XOR Nerdseq in my modular rack. So far, it’s been a lot of fun, and it forces me to constantly use and learn my modules. It’s a tracker-based sequencer – I don’t have any former experience with trackers (which can be a good thing! – and it comes with certain limitations compared to a modern DAW. I’ve connected it via MIDI to Reaper so now I’m enjoying a hybrid setup that fits my workflow. The sync is also rock-solid because I recently bought the E-RM Multiclock.
What’s the weirdest thing in your studio?
The Maestro Rhythm ‘N Sound G2 is a colourful weirdo.
How did you get your studio all set up to plug in and play?
Before I moved into this room two years ago I decided to set up a plug-and-play setup, in stark contrast to my old studio where everything was always a total mess of patch bays and multicables. So I went for a RME UFX+ and a couple of Ferrofish converters, and I’ve never looked back.
Syreen is proper end-of-the-night euphoria. It’s so climactic, building with key changes. How did the main synth line in this track form itself?
The main synth line is almost stupidly simple, consisting of just a few notes. I’ve been multitracking several synths here, Korg MS-20, Juno-106, Yamaha CP-70 piano and the Moog Matriarch, before I’ve processed all tracks separately through early digital and spring reverbs, analogue delays and RE-201 tape. The epic chords make up for the simple synth-line.
If you could take six items out of this studio that you had to make music with forever, which would they be?
Roland Juno 106 for bread and butter keyboard sounds and Roland Re-201 for making them sound more organic and alive, Yamaha CP-70 for working on chords and ideas, Linndrum for everything drums, ARP 2600 for everything bass, and Lexicon Model 200 for everything reverb. That’s pretty much everything I need, but I would miss my modular rack!
What’s your best piece of production advice?
Spend as much time as possible in the studio. Play and learn your instruments and equipment rather than waste your time on the internet. In fact, I could need the latter piece of advice myself!
Check out all of Lindstrøm’s releases on his Bandcamp.
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