Published Feb 17, 2016Just months after dropping an excellent triple-LP DJ mix, Prins Thomas is back with a sprawling artist album spread across no less than eight sides of wax. Principe Del Norte is not as ambitious as it seems, though; most of its elements are manipulated and then recycled repeatedly throughout the album, and Thomas describes it as a set of remixes of previously unreleased material.
The result is a dizzying listen, and the non-descriptive track names (alphabetic letters, all) don't offer any bearings. But rather than being the result of endless creativity, this record feels like it was born out of a hesitancy to decide on a final form for any of its material.
The source elements are strong, and some moments — the spiralling synth lead on "A1," the faux crescendo that ends "A2" and the sun-washed guitar work on "B" and "E," for example — show Prins Thomas at his best, but much of Principe's second half finds him repackaging the first half with plodding disco beats that make the initially exciting melodies seem boring the second (and third, and fourth) time around. One is left wondering whether instead of remixing this material into almost 100 minutes worth of music, Prins Thomas should have just released what he had in the first place. (Smalltown Supersound)