The spirit of a DJ bio is boring, self-centered, and egotistical. Prins Thomas knows that all too well and fears the result: someone who makes him sound like the best DJ in the world…although most people would love such a comment on their skills.
It has to be the very laid-back nature of his residence Oslo that makes him overmodest. Except for his peers Hans-Peter Lindstrom (Feedelity) and Todd Terje who he works and records with and some of the city’s legendary characters like the idiosyncratic Rune LindbÊk or the mysterious DJ Strangefruit, that place is nowhere as busy, hectic and all-important as some of Europe’s club capitals like to portray themselves. When it comes to the musical output, Prins and his royal household leads di way though, as dub poets might say.
Together with Hans-Peter Lindstrom, Thomas created the climax of the on-going fascination with retro futurism and their self-titled debut album for the Belgian Eskimo Label.
His own label Full Pupp has some of the best house-not-house, neo-disco or call-it-what-you-want dance music records to offer that you heard in a long time. All done by exclusive Norwegian talent, a new outfit called Internasjonal will join the global dots with producers from all corners of the known-world, where he currently turns up every weekend with a crate of vinyl, his record grips and an immaculate way to play with it . In other words, there is no stopping him now.
But it was not always like that. The Prins had to go through the school of hard knocks like so many before him. Back, way back in time, he started playing around as a DJ at a puerile age. Viewed as an extension of his break-dancing efforts, belt-driven turntables where enough to support his mix of hip hop, electro and an array of Arthur Baker’s and Shep Pettibone’s jewels. But as soon as he picked up the bass and played in more bands than Norway has trees, the joy of the turntable took a back seat. Until the early nineties arrived that is. Prins still didn’t have his reliable gang of co-conspirators, but he picked up a weekly residence, where he championed sounds as far fetched as Miles Davis or The Doors together with the craze that was started by Phuture’s 'Acid Tracks'. Dance music was happening again and DJs like the aforementioned Strangefruit did their thing to inspire our hero who is currently more excited about new music than ever before. 'I like to mix up the styles. The old with the new, the minimal cuts with the Balearic beauties and my own classics on top of it in order not to get bored', says the master himself and if he would not be too shy for it, we would call him an edutainer (courtesy of KRS-One).
As you can see Prins Thomas has all the right ingredients one could look for in a DJ: great skills, humbleness, productions and remixes other people would kill for and most of all, the ability to play records in a way that makes them not only sound good and expedient, but also makes punters dance. And have we mentioned his beard, yet? There you go: the best DJ in the world!
Q& A with Prins Thomas
You never made it this far as a DJ or producer. Your alternative in life?
Maybe a cook? Or even a professional baby maker.
What is your favourite word in the Norwegian language?
'Lusekofte', which is a very warm traditional sweater. 'Svolk' is also a cool word, meaning to give somebody a good beating.
The worst meal you ever cooked?
In fact, I am quite good in the kitchen, but I get picky over stuff like overcooked ingredients or not preparing the food with real love. I think the worst meal I've ever had was when I was broke and had moved to my own place. I only had two carrots, some pepper and salt which I tried making soup of....
Is there a DJ whose record collection you envy?
Not really, it's hard enough to keep track of my own and I still find new gems there.
You are being reincarnated. Which DJ would you want to be?
Any dj who'd be happy to only play for 2 hours, then I would get more time to sleep and less stuff to carry with me each time I play.
Can you recommend a way to smuggle overweight luggage onto a plane - without paying for it?
Except for trying to make your hand luggage look light there's always the possibility of flirting with the check-in staff. The best tip is actually to collect the miles so you can get more kilos in your checked in baggage, and of course not bring your whole record collection with you every time you play.
What is the best club you never been to?
Precious Hall in Sapporo and I also heard Robert Johnson is supposed to be very good.
The three basslines you wish you wrote yourself?
Any Bohannon, Sly and Robbie or James Brown (Bootsy) thing - simple, but effective.
A song you want to wake up or go to bed with?
Sigur Ros 'Takk' is the only album that works for me when going to bed. Dionne Warwick singing the songs of Burt Bacharach is perfect for waking up to on a Sunday morning.
The ugliest airport you have ever been to?
Rome. They tend to always break or loose my luggage.
Three tips to survive a hangover?
Before going to bed:
1.Postafen (Norwegian travel sickness tablets)
3.Not crashing in bed drunk
When waking up:
2.A dark beer and a Virgin Mary (bloody without the booze)
3.Eggs and bacon
The remix you are the most proud of?
The remix of Lindstrom's 'Music' is one of the first I did and also pretty complex. I can still listen to it and hear things I had no idea how I managed to squeeze out of the machine. The Juan MacLean, 'Answering Machine' and Roxy Music (unreleased) were quite enjoyable, too, as they somehow very naturally ended up sounding very different to the originals.
The remix you wish, you never did?
I don't regret a thing, ha, ha…but there's a few I think people didn't catch as it might have been not what they expected. In general, I guess I've done too many remixes to really say I 'love' them all but then I remind myself of how many Tom Moulton did...
Your philosophy in life?
Enjoy it for the short time it lasts!