El Paraiso Records in Denmark pretty much own me. Yeah, I’ll admit it. 2014 has been the year of El Paraiso for me, musically speaking. First it started with a curious listen of Causa Sui’s ‘Summer Sessions 1-3’ which led me to Papir, Psicomagia, Jonas Munk’s Pan, then finally Jakob Skott. Munk and Skott are the guitarist and drummer respectively of Causa Sui and on their own are wizards of electronic noodling and knob-turning. In all honesty I haven’t met an album released by El Paraiso that I don’t absolutely love and adore.
Back in March I received in the mail the newest Jakob Skott LP called Amor Fati. On this record is a mix of skronky space funk and post-apocalyptic analog wheeze that will certainly end up in my top 5 albums of 2014(think Stewart Copeland and Bernie Worrell soundtracking some neo-futuristic epic directed by George Miller.) Before Amor Fati though, Skott released Doppler. Doppler is a buzzy collection of lo-fi sounding electronic music that won me over at the first hint of Boards of Canada-meets-Tangerine Dream goodness. Unlike Amor Fati, Doppler is all synths and mood. None of Skott’s trademark drum-strutting. Just analog synth atmospherics and a bubbling pulse of a Tangerine Dream in an alternate universe influenced by Terry Reily and Morton Subotnick.
Last Wednesday after a panic-stricken day of school clothes shopping and horrible road work I kicked back in the evening with some Founders Brewery Porter and proceeded to peruse El Paraiso’s website. I sipped on my Porter and hit “buy” next to Jakob Skott’s Doppler. I’d been wanting to order it for a long time but kept putting it off(like an idiot.) Well, thanks to some libations and the general feeling of relief of surviving a day of insanity in the big city I bought a record I’ve wanted for a long time(like a boss.) I was thrilled to see that it had arrived today. Contained on this beautiful blue-colored vinyl is 8 songs of analog beauty. Imagine Vangelis trippin’ balls and you might have an idea of what to expect here. It’s like the Blade Runner soundtrack recorded in some alternate universe where it takes place on a space station and not futuristic Los Angeles. “Longevity Suite” is pure beauty. A seven-minute meditation that takes you to the ends of the galaxy, drops you off, and tells you to float home. “Legacy Lost” bubbles and morphs into what I imagine would be a great score for the creation of the universe…but that’s just me. These two songs are the centerpieces, while “Prophet”, “Rates”, and “Basrelief” help to push you along on this aural journey into the ether. This would’ve been one hell of a soundtrack for a film like Blade Runner, Solaris, or 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s that beautiful,expressive, and expansive.
Well, I’ve gone on long enough here. You should check out Doppler….and Amor Fati….and then everything else El Paraiso has to offer. Causa Sui’s Pewt’r Session 3 is coming very soon. Look for a glowing review right here any day now.