I’ve been following the Danish record label El Paraiso Records for close to seven years now. Ever since a friend hipped me to a band called Causa Sui and their album Euporie Tide. From the moment I hit play on that stunning album I’ve gladly followed both the band and the label down their very heady and forward-thinking rabbit hole. The label is run by Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt who are one half of Causa Sui. Munk plays guitar and Skøtt is the drummer. Besides Causa Sui duties, Jonas and Jakob have other musical projects under their belts including solo records, collaborative works(Billow Observatory, Videodrones), as well as keeping the trains running on time over at El Paraiso Records.
I’ve been increasingly impressed with this label as the years go on, especially with their ever-expanding roster of artists(both from Europe and the US) and the wide scope of sonic worlds these artists inhabit. From psych to fusion to doom folk to straight up hard bop, El Paraiso Records doesn’t just stick to one single vibe with their releases. You can’t get much a wider margin than comparing a band like Videodrones to something like Black Cube Marriage; or the southern Cali psych vibes of Monarch’s Beyond The Blue Sky to the monolithic crunch of Causa Sui’s Return To Sky. The one thing each release has in common is that no matter what genre or style that band is going for, it’s always heady, deep, and forward-thinking. It’s always a deep space dive for the far out space traveler.
With 2020 still firmly looming over our shoulders we’ve seen so many great independent labels struggling to keep things rolling. Especially the ones that relied on their roster to get out and promote releases, hence helping push album sales, by playing album release shows and gigs in general. El Paraiso Records, despite a year with pandemics, isolation, and lockdowns, have persevered and have continued to give us amazing releases. They’ve dropped some serious daylight, sunshine, and otherwise hopeful sounds into my head in a year that I’ve struggled to find anything to be hopeful about. Mythic Sunship, Kanaan, Ellis/Munk Ensemble, Martin Rude & Jakob Skøtt Duo, Fra Det Onde, and Causa Sui have all dropped or are all dropping new music this year.
Now let us rejoice.
So wherever you are, I hope this message of rock and roll finds you well. I hope you have persevered this year, despite where we are currently(which is some kind of alternate reality that I’m sure we’ll all escape from very soon.) While we wait for those last two El Paraiso Records releases coming in November, bask at some of the amazing album art Jakob Skøtt has created over the past year of El Paraiso releases, giving the label a continuity and aesthetic throughout their tenure as saviors of forward-thinking music journeys.
See you soon.