Pop/rock/prog polymath Todd Rundgren was attemping to incorporate post-rave sonics into his music as far back as the early 1990s (see 1993’s sporadically brilliant No World Order and 2002’s drum‘n’bass inflected remake of ELO’s Bluebird Is Dead).
And yet his experiments with electronic dance music have rarely approached the cutting edge (see: last month’s release, Global). This has shifted recently with the intervention of Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, a longtime admirer. Assisted by Lindstrøm and Emil Nikolaisen of psych rockers Serena Maneesh, Rundgren has rediscovered the expansive territory he staked out in the 70s. A single, 40-minute track, Runddans is a dazzling foray into spiralling electronics and glistening ambient soul, which also finds room for some guitar heroism. Todd’s recent career hasn’t been short of experimentation – as well as electronica he’s tackled bossa nova, industrial rock, musical theatre and the Delta blues – but his determination to travel as far out as possible has resulted in his finest and most adventurous album for decades.