New album announcements are pretty hard to come by these days, and vinyl releases even more so. With the way things are I can only imagine it’s become harder and harder for small, independent record labels to plan physical releases. Not only that, but with artists not being able to tour and promote releases that makes the prospect of new physical media pretty desolate. Though hearing yesterday of not just one, but two new releases coming from one of my favorite record labels, Denmark’s amazing El Paraiso Records, I feel there’ a glimmer of hope for the future of music after these very complicated times.
Co-label heads and one half of Causa Sui Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt each have their own side projects dropping in August. Jakob Skøtt is teaming up with Sun River band mate and multi-instrumentalist Martin Rude for The Discipline Of Assent under the name Martin Rude & Jakob Skøtt Duo. That’s dropping August 7th. Munk is finally releasing the long talked about San Diego jam sessions with the incredible Brian Ellis, along with members of Astra, Psicomagia, Monarch, Radio Moscow and Sacri Monti. San Diego Sessions is hitting August 14th under the name Ellis/Munk Ensemble.
First up is the new release from Martin Rude and Jakob Skøtt, The Discipline Of Assent.
If first single “A New Arrival” is any indication, The Discipline Of Assent is going to be an ethereal world concocted from memories and vibes of early fusion, forward-thinking jazz, and the free spirit of early 70s studio exploration. Driven by Rude’s exquisite double bass and Skøtt’s exemplary, tasteful drumming(with some spatial synth thrown in to turn the late night jazz vibes on their head), this duo seems to be rewiring and re-imagining what we think jazz can or should sound like.
Skøtt is no stranger to forward-thinking music, giving us a plethora of mind-expanding drum and synth spaced-out workouts on a handful of solo LPs starting 2012. His work with Causa Sui speaks for itself, of course. Working with Martin Rude on Sun River’s 2012 debut(along with Jonas Munk) was another showcase of minimalist folk and 70s singer/songwriter magic. Rude’s tasteful acoustic songs brought to mind John Fahey, Nick Drake, as well as CSNY, Cat Stevens, and Tim Buckley.
Coming together as a duo with The Discipline Of Assent, it seems Rude and Skøtt are going all in and deep diving into heady jazz vibes. I’m hearing echoes of Ambercrombie and DeJohnette’s Gateway, as well as Ambercrombie’s solo work. Skøtt is letting the drums breathe a bit, bringing down the Tony Williams workouts in order to give the percussion a more spatial feel. Though with the addition of atmospheric synth, we could have Mwandishi/Crossing/Sextant-era Hancock vibes on our hands.
Listen to “A New Arrival” below, then head to El Paraiso Records and preorder The Discipline Of Assent now. It arrives August 7th. And tune in Monday as I talk about the far out goodness of Ellis/Munk Ensemble.