Thankfully, Thomas' third album, III, gleams with the kind of knotty studio workouts that felt so effortless on his debut. There's the sense, again, of Thomas simply enjoying himself in the studio for hours, compiling track after track of his extended, organic jams. Ideas germinate and blossom in this almost 80-minute update of krautrock's more ethereal pursuits. As Thomas explains in the press release, there's "no space disco but plenty of space."
"2000 Lysar Fra Morellveien" opens with rambling bass and distant starburst synths before Thomas introduces a space-rock guitar lead that almost casts a pall over the noise beneath. "Hans Majestet" and "Arabisk Natt (Dub)" are both classic Full Pupp disco struts, their thick sequencer throbs layered against Thomas's interstellar synth melodies and muscular guitar licks. Lighter and more withdrawn, "Emmannsrock" glides along another sunny synthesizer before the drums slowly tumble in and Thomas adds ringing Balearic guitar.
As the album enters its second half, there's a turn toward the serene. The hazy kosmische of Manuel Gottsching, after whom Thomas named his first Full Pupp single, surfaces. "Luftspeiling" enters with thoughtful New Age Of Earth pads before Thomas adds his own blurry guitar work, beginning a slow ascent that lasts almost 13 minutes. "Oase" is another quietly refined mini-space opera, with zero-gravity synths again leading into the mesmeric sprawl of Thomas's guitar. III is packed with endless little corners and sonic voyages. It gives reason to hope that Thomas continues simply messing about in his studio.