I think every great psych/stoner/space rock band have at least one similar goal, and that goal is to play the Roadburn Festival. It’s a music festival that takes place every year in the Netherlands, and like so many other great alternative rock festivals around the world(Austin Psych Fest and Liverpool Psych Fest come to mind), Roadburn has been host to some of stoner/space/psych rock’s absolute best. White Hills and Earthless’ Roadburn sets come to mind as raw, gritty, and intense examples of just how serious those Roadburn folks take the live experience. We now have Copenhagen, Denmark’s Papir to add to the list of great bands to play Roadburn. Papir’s Live At Roadburn is a testament to the intensity and gravitas these three Danish cats carry onto the stage. At nearly one hour and twenty minutes Papir’s Live At Roadburn is a dense, loud, and mind bending experience.
“Lykk Trep-R Hi-Losé” blows out of the speakers at maximum rock ‘n roll. You can almost feel the weight of those distorted chords hanging in the air, blasting you in the face. From right out of the starting gates Papir sound like a band that’s been playing all night. “IIII.I”, the opening track off of Papir IIII rolls in next and only gains from being played live in front of an audience. Listening to this Danish three piece breeze through this track you really get a sense of the power these guys possess. They run the gamut between psych, heavy rock, and even free form atmospherics like guys that have been playing for years. “Monday” is just an intense display of musicianship and a perfect example of just how tight these guys are locked into each other. The bass and drums keep the chugging train moving, allowing for some great guitar noodling that becomes explosive towards the end. “Live I” and “Live II” take up nearly thirty minutes of play time on this live set and they act as an extended disengagement from the world. You can close your eyes and get lost in Papir’s magical musical world. Colors stream brightly by your face as both tracks ebb and flow. These two songs are what differentiate the men from the boys. These tracks are meditations on power, improvisation, and stream-of-consciousness jams.
This is the good stuff.
“Sunday #2”, off of the excellent Stundum, closes Papir’s Roadburn set with a bang. Sixteen minutes of patient flow that builds up to absolute aural bliss. Papir arrived in the Netherlands and completely destroyed.
There aren’t too many live albums really worth the time to sit through. Papir’s Live At Roadburn is one of the few definitely worth owning and playing at maximum volume. I’ve never heard three guys make so much noise.
8.8 out of 10