Photo: Kim Hiorthoy
Home base: Oslo, Norway
Analog multitrack: Tascam 58
Sequencer used: Steinberg Cubase 4
Lindstrøm, the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ, and mix master, has remixed for the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Roxy Music, and LCD Soundsystem. Now he's reaching for a wider audience for his own music. His latest release, Where You Go I Go Too (Smalltown Supersound, 2008), is an electronica-based instrumental CD that's the very definition of a solo project — carefully constructed by himself in his chosen atmosphere of creative solitude.
The multifaceted musician, whose full name is Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, writes, records, and often mixes in his own Feedelity Studio, a 2-room setup that doubles as a record-label office in downtown Oslo, Norway. “There's no control room,” he notes. “Everything's in the same brickwalled room with no sound treatment, except that all four walls are covered with 4,000 vinyl records.”
Lindstrøm's studio includes both a computer running Steinberg Cubase 4 and a Tascam 58 8-track analog recorder. “I usually record drums onto tape, and sometimes bass, guitars, and some keyboards,” he says. “When using the Tascam, I play along with the metronome in Cubase. Then after I've recorded onto tape, I rewind the machine and play it into Cubase. I don't use timecode or anything to sync the tape. If the timing gets off, which might happen when I record very long takes, I just use cut and paste in Cubase.”
His studio is set up for easy access. “I've placed all my equipment around where I sit, so I can easily grab any instrument. Everything is connected to the mixer, so I don't have to think about cables,” Lindstrøm says.
That “everything” includes a bunch of favored keyboards, which he used to shape the evocative soundscapes of Where You Go I Go Too, on which he broke the traditional album mold by including only three extralong but stunning tracks (see Web Clip 1). “I was bored of making shorter tracks and needed to do something completely different. I've worked on long tracks before, but never 30 minutes!”
The Memorymoog, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Roland Juno-60, and ARP Solina String Ensemble are all part of his vintage-keyboard collection. “Recently, after getting a lot of hardware, I stopped using plug-ins and virtual instruments,” he reports. “Grand Ideas” (see Web Clip 2) on the new CD features an especially striking glassy patch from a Yamaha FS1R.
Other elements in his musical arsenal range from Telecasters to congas to bits of gear he's picked up while on tour, including a Korg Kaoss Pad. “I use it on the Solina to get some movement and hands-on control on the static string sound; it sounds great,” he enthuses.
During his travels, Lindstrøm likes to record found sounds, which he processes at a later date. “I recorded trains in Kyoto, a beach in Rio, and my vacuum cleaner, which sounds like an old broken analog synth going crazy,” he laughs.
His studio tracking process is equally idiosyncratic. “I always write and record at the same time. It might take more time, because I have to rerecord parts since I often come up with new ideas, but I prefer working this way.”
Having his own studio is essential to Lindstrøm's way of working. “I've never, ever worked in a professional studio,” he muses, “so I don't have to think about high studio prices, which I don't believe would benefit the creative process. Being able to work here is the number one reason that I'm able to express myself musically.”