When I think of Denmark’s Causa Sui I think of vast open spaces. I think of widescreen grooves and vacuum tubes a-glow with the orange of humming fuzz. This four-piece have made it their mission to not be pigeonholed by any one genre or mindset. They explore the dark corners of Sabbath-ian dirges to the highfalutin ambient worlds Eno and Froese to the sizzle, cracks, and headiness of electric Miles. Causa Sui serves not one master, but whichever muse shows up at the studio door. And with that “whichever way the wind is blowing in Odense” vibe, these four sonic explorers add their own secret recipe to the bubbling, musical cauldron. They turn their influence and inspiration on its head and serve it up as something new and weird and beautiful.
Return To Sky was the last studio LP to come from Causa Sui, way back in 2016 before the world began to crumble apart. And earlier this year the guys laid on us the massive Live In Copenhagen, which was a massive 3-LP set that captures two very unique live sets from 2013 and 2016 respectively. So now, the Sui bois snuck back into planet El Paraiso studios, taking with them only various fuzz boxes, drums, amps, and plenty of Danish lager and worked out the excellent and teeth-chattering Vibraciones Doradas. They’re calling this a mini-LP, but at well over 30 minutes this is a full-fledged mind-melting long player.
“The Drop” greets you at the door and quickly blows the hat off your head. It’s a massive flashback to early 90s scuzz and stoner rock, but with a little more muscle mass. Jakob Skott and Jess Kahr lay down a massive, chugging foundation to which Jonas Munk does his best to outdo Kim Thayil in the fuzzy riff department. Seriously, this track blows the barn doors off and explodes like a nuclear-powered freight train. As the seven minute track winds down Rasmus Rasmussen adds som tasteful keys that lull us into the stick-to-your-ribs behemoth that is “El Fuego”.
I suppose you could say that “El Fuego” is the core of this collection. It’s an 11-minute fuzzy, psychedelic epic. It roars and lashes like some angry sea and then calms in the middle, giving a false sense of security. Soon enough things build back up as the drums become more unruly and feedback and sci-fi explosions become more prominent. Rasmussen’s keys sound as if Ray Manzarek is somewhere out in that violent swirl of noise and desert rock riffage. Munk almost sounds to be summoning the Siamese Dream-era Pumpkins towards the end. It’s an elegant, sonic world they’ve built here.
If you blink(or get up to grab another beer) you may miss the wonderfully dreamy “Viborera”. It’s a space-y, two minute interlude that brings to mind the work of Rasmussen’s Aerosol and more recent Astral TV(hell, even Munk’s exquisite noise excursions with Ulrich Schnauss come to mind as well.) It’s one of those tracks that you must play it a few times in a row to savor it.
We’re then treated to a guitar crunch meltdown with the bone-crushing “Seven Hills”. There’s nothing ambient going on here. This is pure, molten, bedrock fuzz rock. This is Roadburn-worthy rock and roll sludge. I’m thinking a show with Earthless, Mugstar, and Causa Sui somewhere near the equator might just set the earth back on its axis and things might start to improve. “Seven Hills” is just an all-out monster rock mind melter.
We close this album out with title track “Vibraciones Doradas”. It’s about as doom-laden as I’ve ever heard Causa Sui. There’s some serious Big Muff vibes going on here, with Matt Pike smiling somewhere in the universe as this is played. I really can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to 2017 than playing this at high volume, annoyed neighbors be damned. But so as to not end on a chugging note, the song seems to melt into the universe and rise back up as something new, much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Munk and Kahr add some tasteful fret work halfway thru and the song begins to morph into something less doomy; something lighter that seems to take off into the atmosphere.
Vibraciones Doradas shows Causa Sui continuing to build upon their musical journey, blazing through genres, styles, vibes, and moods with ease. For the most part this record is a barn burner, a rock and roll feast for the ears. It showcases the band’s ear for riffs and grooves, but also their willingness to pull back and let the universe expand our brains a bit. Munk, Kahr, Rasmussen, and Skott continue to be one of the most vital musical forces creating today. Vibraciones Doradas is proof of that.
8.4 out of 10