Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter LindstrŅm | Runddans (Smalltown Supersound)

Not too often, some music comes wafting in that somehow seems to encapsulate something, hmmm, perhaps like the way a lot of us having been feeling lately, or maybe like something we’ve most of us been looking for. One little taste of this gloriously gorgeous record, this blissful thing, to put it plainly and probably a bit too sincerely, and it might come clear what we’ve been missing, or maybe ought to have been. Runddans is a lovingly crazy quilt of sonic sapphire that finds Todd Rundgren in collaboration with Norwegian electronics fellas Hans-Peter Lindstrom and Emil Nikolaisen (Serena-Maneesh) in a recapturing of the peculiarly resonant mix of yearning sweet-soul, psychedelic whimsy and open-minded facing-the-void that Rundgren did in fact invent on his ‘70s masterwerks A Wizard A True Star, Todd and Initiation. These were deeply layered, LSD-inspired works that revealed areas of sonic space in which the human being faces the Void, and somewhat happily finds not a void but a universe-is-terrifyingly-full gargantuousness –– an immensity that just is and which of course implies…In just one track, 39 minutes of music, Runddans takes several variations on the same massively blissful descending chord pattern, and it gets thin and mad thick as it resurfaces reguised amid vocal Todd choirs, squealing guitars, splintered sundry electronic folderol and angles and views and juxtapositions. Over and over, Rundgren sings, “Put your arms around me,” and it’s not like there’s irony in it. That message keeps this ever-ballooning train ride through the Milky Way not earthbound as such but utterly, fantastically humane.
–– John Payne








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