I love Danish label El Paraiso for the eternal mutability of its bands and lineups. The roster is constantly cross-pollinating acts to create new permutations with oftentimes surprising results. At the core of quite a few of these lineups is the duo of Martin Rude & Jakob Skøtt. The pair have laid down quite few records as a duo, expanded to a trio with Tamar Osborn, and most recently made some of my favorite contributions to the label with the four-piece London Odense Ensemble (also with Osborn). Separately, Skøtt is part of flagship band Causa Sui and Rude helmed the decidedly pastoral Sun River. What lies next for the pair is yet another shift, folding in an El Paraiso regular, Nicklas Sørensen, whose band Papir was an integral part of the label’s success.
As a trio, the band explores territory that’s both familiar and foreign to the label. The band’s approach is heady, humid, and fragrant. The record hovers near the horizon of psych-folk, affecting a kind of midnight pastoral pallor, through the trio doesn’t fully dip into the trappings of the genre. Sørensen’s guitar drips with a damp, mossen quality, but works more in moods than nimble picking. It gets lost in the rising fog of Rude’s keys, the two instruments forming a heady double helix that informs the group’s effusive sound. They edge towards dub, caress the helm of kosmiche . The subsequent threading of forest floor psych and post rock works wonders on the listener, lifting the record into the ether before letting its poisons absorb into the skin.
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