Jonas Munk and Nicklas Sørensen have been working together for a few years now. First, with Munk engineering three albums by Sørensen’s main gig, Papir. Then producing and working on Solo and Solo 2, Nicklas’ first two solo records. The two then began playing partially improvised synth/guitar shows together. These sonic excursions became the basis for El Paraiso Records’ upcoming August release, Always Already Here, the first collaborative LP by Munk and Sørensen.
For me, I feel that these two musicians are keeping the Berlin School/Komische spirit alive. Munk has made two of my favorite electronic/heavy synth records in recent years with Pan and Absorb Fabric Cascade(not to mention his work with Ulrich Schnauss and Billow Observatory.) Nicklas Sørensen’s Solo and Solo 2 take instrumental guitar music to a new level. Instead of “tasty licks” and noodling over generic drum and bass tracks he creates looping, interwoven lines of guitar and synth to make a truly exhilarating listening experience.
Up to this point, Solo 2 was the most collaborative release from these two, but now with Always Already Here this dream team of heady electronic music are in full collaborative mode. Months of hashing out dense layers of looping guitar and synth in Munk’s home studio, fueled by lots of coffee and buzzing ideas, the two are ready to share the fruits of their labor.
“Shift” is the first track shared and it’s a gorgeous piece of Berlin School and electronic repetition. Taking the spirit of classical minimalism and electronic composition, “Shift” is a magnificent example of minimalist structure and loping repetition. Munk and Sørensen call up the spirit of cats like Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, while honing in on the electronic perfectionism of Brian Eno and Manuel Göttsching. There’s also bits of Tangerine Dream’s more nuanced 80s soundtrack work hidden in the patchwork of synth notes, while Sørensen creates some almost Adrian Belew guitar structures(ala Discipline and Beat-era Crimson) in the background.
This is a stunning piece of music that spans nearly 10 minutes.
Preorder for Always Already Here will be up soon. Check here for further details(and “out of stock” just means it hasn’t been posted…not that it’s out of stock.) Until then, dive head first into the stunning “Shift” below. The perfect way to cool down on these hot summer days.