prinzhorn

A process of distillation seems to have been taking place with Prinzhorn Dance School, who were a very spare-feeling band in the first place; their self-titled 2007 debut was a disparate sixteen-track document, 2011’s ‘Clay Horn’ dropped to a more standard length, and here they are in 2015 with the six-track ‘Home Economics’. So every song must count.

Opener ‘Reign’ is like an early demo of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ – stripped back, lazily cool, and curiously soft in its impact, the four-note bass line is tethered to a paper-thin drum track, while vocals drip over the whole thing like thin syrup. It’s a strong template for the album. Music this contained and concise requires a strong aesthetic to sustain itself, and PDS have definitely achieved that; listening to the record is like walking through a stark, empty landscape, where here and there vividly green shoots of growth are visible.

‘Battlefield’ sees the duo exchanging almost spoken-word lyrics over a sparse backdrop, and ‘Education’ has odd echoes of Elastica. The band’s approach almost consumes itself though on ‘Haggle’, which really does come across like a confused-sounding demo and could have been discarded. While the album is swiftly over, the songs themselves feel unrushed, but the pared-down style can drift towards un-engaging and this happens too often on so short a record.

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