As far as supergroups go, Edena Gardens is about as super as it gets. The latest project to emerge from the great El Paraiso Records out of Denmark consists of multi-instrumentalist Martin Rude, Papir guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, and Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt. The music that emerged from the trio’s long form improvisations is dark, inspired, revelatory, and not like anything these three have done before. That’s not to say the DNA from which this album came forth doesn’t lead back to previous creative musical outings; but it’s mutated, metastasized, and rewired what came before from the ground up.
Edena Gardens is its own beast.
On the band’s self-titled debut, Edena Gardens lay out 7 tracks of ethereal doom, quasi-ambient blues, and improvisational psychedelia. These songs seem to rise and expand like a slow fog over one’s psyche. An organic and natural musical head space that twists and turns just enough to keep us guessing from one sonic trip to the next.
Album opener “Æther” has a woozy sway to it. It clocks in at an epic 10 minutes and it sounds like if doom metal emerged from the DNA of The Doors’ “The End”, with touches of the great Earth, Low, and even the THC-soaked beginnings of Eternal Tapestry. Jakob Skøtt does some improvisational runs, keeping an almost free jazz quality over the proceedings while Rude and Sørensen build atmosphere and woozy soundscapes as if they were scoring Sergio Leone making a psychedelic western.
Not everyone can open an album with a slow burn like this, but Edena Gardens isn’t everyone.
Elsewhere “Sliding Under” has a boozy sway to it and an upbeat feel. Drunken sunshine shines down on a dew-soaked landscape as slide and echoing guitar lines bring the calm after a heady sonic trip. “Hidebound” was our introduction to the world of Edena Gardens and it showcased the band’s love of texture, bluesy psychedelia, and sonic coloring outside the lines. “Now Here Nowhere” is a trip of a song, laying on a slick jazz groove as cosmic buzzes fly by in spaced-out psychedelia. The guitar here is tasteful but never showy, bringing together 60s vibes within a modern head space. “An t-eilean Dubh” closes the album on a dusty note. Gritty guitar lines build over almost tribal drums working towards an almost urgent end to the album’s sonic trip.
It’s no surprise that Edena Gardens is awe-inspiring in scope, yet subtle enough for a late evening listen with a pint or two. This debut stands in good company with past forward-thinking, intellectually engaging albums; released not only by the great El Paraiso Records but standing among the greats in decades worth of slow burn psychedelia and cosmic rock. Rude, Sørensen, and Skøtt have built a kind of overcast musical voyage in their improvisational debut. Edena Gardens is painted in mysterious darkened hues, with the possibility of light sneaking through at any minute. Fortunately, light is not needed for Edena Gardens to flourish. With each listen this garden grows and grows.
Buy Edena Gardens here.