In the late 1970s and early ’80s, the original Star Wars trilogy’s grip on popular culture extended well into the discotheque. There were the overt cash-ins, like Meco’s tawny Italo version of John Williams’ famous theme. But sci-fi concepts and a futuristic sound—analog synths oscillated and arpeggiated into burbling, goading, robotic funk—were also proliferating more generally, from Cerrone to Dee D. Jackson to, yes, Space. Like a bridge sentried by Moog and Moroder, this brief span in the history of popular music, and music technology, floated in the void between the terra firma of instrument-based disco and the ethereal frontier of pure electronics.

Two decades later, the second Star Wars trilogy… also gripped popular culture, if a bit more restively, and once again—whether coincidentally or otherwise—space disco trailed it like a comet’s tail. This time, the music had embryonic digital tools to augment its now-antique hardware and the internet to spread itself through. It was more likely to evoke the cosmic than to describe it, trading kitschy vocoders for a chic, chilly, almost philosophical grandeur: a dance music of the mind. Its harbinger was Norway’s Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, who first made his name with a 2006 compilation of tracks from his label, Feedelity. But he really took his place in the crossover firmament with Where You Go I Go Too, an epic mash note to John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream that, spun through Lindstrøm’s own brand of pensive euphoria, played well at indie festivals alongside M83 and Cut Copy.

Now another 20 years have passed, and Lindstrøm has become a double throwback, first to the forward-looking music of four decades ago, then to the early days of Web 2.0, when a sense that genre walls were falling and horizons rapidly expanding found implicit expression in his interplanetary stride. That excitement still flares from his sixth studio LP, his first in four years.

Everyone Else Is a Stranger is all that an old fan could want. The four songs are long, expressive strings of supple lines and curves, twisting like silvery roller-coaster tracks. Bounding basses pick out jaunty melodies, hopping on one rubbery note per bar. The drums merrily foam along, winking with accented guitars. The spray of the synths churns inside and across the measures, in contrast to their perpetual forward motion. Chord progressions worked through at great length will suddenly pause, gasp, then do some marvelous new thing—turn inside out or start to glow or burst into four-dimensional colors. The music gives the impression of being etched in a high place, as high as a person could reach, and then reaches higher.

“Syreen” is the daytime concert anthem, while “Nightswim”—well, you’ve guessed it. “The Rind” has the tastiest, bendiest groove, while the title track is the most involving composition, a sort of monastic bass algorithm with winding, haunting chambers of instrumental writing. The record favors Lindstrøm’s live side, congregating cymbals, triangles, congas, timbales, flutes, cello, and violin with his trusty Solina String Ensemble, though any difference between the virtual and the real has evaporated in his gleaming, shadowless hyperreality.

Lindstrøm’s practical genius and popularity (he’s won multiple Norwegian Grammys) lie in his ability to be many things to many people—a custodian of vintage synths and reverbs to gearheads, a solid floor-mover for club dwellers, or, for indie kids, a comfortingly songful dance-music concierge bobbing in a bucket hat. Like Star Wars and so much else these days, when everything tends to repeat with variations instead of making way for something new, Lindstrøm has become a reliable fixture: a consistent, technically adept stylizer of dewy uplift and nocturnal danger that—with or without nostalgia’s rosy glow—he keeps feeling fresh and fun.

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Lindstrøm: Everyone Else Is a Stranger