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EL PARAISO

Ellis / Munk Ensemble

San Diego Sessions

    There's really no other place like San Diego. The weather's balmy all year, there's 70 miles of the finest coastline California has to offer, it has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the US and - most importantly - it's currently THE epicenter for heavy psychedelic rock. Bands such as Earthless, Astra and Radio Moscow have paved the way for an astounding number of bands, creating a tight knit community of musicians. On this session Denmark's Jonas Munk (Causa Sui) joins forces with San Diego native Brian Ellis (who's not only a prime mover in the psychedelic scene, but has also been active in California's jazz and funk circuits for several years), and an assemblage of prime musicians from the area, including members of Astra, Psicomagia, Monarch, Radio Moscow and Sacri Monti. The result is an intoxicating brew that's hard to put a label on. Fueled by the furious drumming of Paul Marrone, and led by Jonas Munk's fuzzy lead guitar and the multicolored keys of Brian Ellis, there's an unmoored, floating quality to the music the large ensemble was creating at these sessions. It's the kind of record you can put on and just let it wash over you. The closest references would be Miles Davis circa Bitches Brew, Hendrix at Woodstock, or perhaps Can at their most blazing and levitational. The music flows like an electric river of vintage keys, percussion and fuzz guitars. And it's glowing with life. Vinyl comes in gatefold sleeve with art by Alan Forbes and liner notes by Jonas Munk. For fans of Causa Sui, Earthless and Psicomagia this set is not to be missed!

    Martin Rude & Jakob Skøtt Duo

    The Discipline Of Assent

      Martin Rude (Sun River) & Jakob Skøtt (Causa Sui) team up for a genre-defying record that was recorded during an exceptional session on March 3rd 2020. Martin brought his Double Bass, Acoustic & Baritone guitar into the studio of Causa Sui, where Jakob's drums were already miked & prepped by soundwiz Jonas Munk, freshly tuned from the new Causa Sui recordings. The music they played ranges from sprawled out pre-fusion electric jazz to psychedelic folk ragas. After the sessions, the hours of free floating music was edited & dubbed by Jakob Skøtt into shorter cohesive segments, but maintaining the improvised vibe of these first takes.

      It is a record that pays homage to the great innovators of jazz: Miles & Trane (or perhaps more fittingly their peak-drummers: Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette & Elvin Jones), as well as Mingus at his fiercest or Sun Ra at his most exotic. Not merely a tribute, the album doubles down with guitar pickings ala John Fahey & Sandy Bull, as well as sparse layers of oddly-tempered mallet percussion and synthesizers. But perhaps the closest reference isn't something of a certain place in time, but rather a free flowing ethos of stoic proportions: letting happen what it may, turning the accidents and mistakes along the way into something vital. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Kanaan

      Double Sun

        Kanaan from Oslo, Norway is back with their 2nd album in 2020. Following the impromptu Odense Sessions with Causa Sui guitarist Jonas Munk released in February, Double Sun is a different beast all together: Treading the same path as their 2018 debut Windborne, Double Sun is a studio effort in the best sense of the word. Perfectly balanced on the edge of dynamic improv, throbbing beats sizzled in scorching fuzz and topped off with deeply layered soundscapes. This album sees Kanaan reach a new plateau. Kanaan presents a unique perspective to psychedelic rock, painting with a wide palette that includes jazz and post-rock. Double Sun devotes as much energy to sonic colour as it does to groove and energy. The spirit of experimentation is everywhere: From the savory, pastoral sounds of opening track Worlds Together, to the soaring exploratory paths of the two-part title track. In the creative process, Kanaan dived deep into the possibilities of the studio, adding intricate layers and twists and turns to these tunes: acoustic guitars, percussions & synthesizers embrace and enhance the Norwegian modern day version of a power-trio. T

        Kanaan

        Odense Sessions

          With their 2018 debut album, ”Windborne”, Oslo based trio Kanaan quickly established themselves as one of the most important groups in the youngest generation of psychedelic impro-rockers. As accomplished players – all three educated in jazz – they marry fiery energy with musical intricacy, and possess a rare ability to balance power and Delicateness. They devote as much energy to exploring airiness and atmosphere as they do to intensity. On this set the trio join forces with Causa Sui guitar player and producer Jonas Munk, for a series of semi-improvised sonic excursions. Recorded in Jonas Munk's Odense studio, where most of the El Paraiso magic happens, the band explores a looser side of their sound. Jonas Munk joins on guitar on every track, and occasionally synths as well, unlocking new modal possibilities and a Grateful Dead-esque dual-guitar flow that suits the band well. These four tracks unfold in a panoramic slow burn, only occasionally exploding in blazing leads. They know just when to hold back and when to let loose. On the final track, ”Urgent Excursions To The Tundrasphere”, the four eventually let it all rip, creating a complete sonic meltdown. For fans of freeform psychedelic rock this is as essential as it gets

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Mythic Sunship

          Changing Shapes

            Mythic Sunship played three shows at the 2019 edition of Roadburn - ”Changing Shapes” documents the most ferocious and courageous of the three. It follows 2018's ”Another Shape of Psychedelic Music”, where the band incorporated saxophone player Søren Skov, and ventured deep into uncharted sonic territory, somewhere in between fuzzed out space rock and free jazz. A sound that's both challenging and deeply engaging. As the festival described the album before the show: “The kind of album people talk about years afterward. The kind of album that isn’t for everybody, but for those whom it touches are never quite the same again.” ”Changing Shapes” is a continuation of those ideas, not just a live performance of previous material (only two tracks from ”Another Shape...” are featured on this set). Søren Skov joins the band again here as the five-piece burns through a handful of lengthy pieces in front of an ecstatic audience. It's an immersive listen, from the curious opening notes of ”Awakening”, to the relentless roar of ”Ophidian Rising”. ”If Mythic Sunship aren’t the shape of psychedelic music to come, it’s in no small part because there are so few out there who could hope to match what they do.” -The Obelisk ”It’s the sound of a band that have fully found their mojo and can just hammer out these sonic slabs that are devoid of cliche and scream originality.” -The Fragmented Flaneur ”They grind out massive riffs and tribal beats like a soundtrack to the apocalypse...This is psychedelic music unlike you’ve heard before.” -Complex Distractions 

            Astral TV

            Travelling The Circuits

              Rasmus Rasmussen (Aerosol, Causa Sui) and Keith Canisius are back with another delightful set of Astral TV tracks. Since their debut album, ”Chrystal Shores” from 2017, the Copenhagen-based duo have refined and perfected their approach to making semi-improvised synthesizer music. Musically it doesn't get much more pure than this. From their vast assemblage of synthesizers - that is, vintage, modern, digital, analog and modular synthesizers - the two producers are squeezing the finest sonic essence, for your neural pleasure. Forget about song structures and leads – it's not that kind of album. Listening to ”Travelling The Circuits” is like floating on an electronic river through a slowly changing scenery. There's really no story here, and it's not about the destination. It's about colours – lots of colours. And the tactile beauty of sounds and patterns, filters slowly opening and closing, letting your senses tickle by a unique 80hz oscillation that only a wood-panelled analog synth from the early 1980s can produce. ”Travelling The Circuits” is a true auditory delight. 

              Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sorensen

              Always Already Here

                Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sørensen team up for a genre-defying record that explores American minimalism, psychedelia, and electronic music both vintage and contemporary. On a foundation of interlocking guitar and synthesizer patterns, the duo constructs lengthy pieces that are experimental yet welcoming in nature, precisely executed yet with room for soaring improvisation. Always Already Here pays homage to the masters of classical minimalism (Steve Reich, Terry Riley) and the pioneers of electronic music and kosmische (Brian Eno, Manuel Göttsching), still it doesn't sound derivative or retrospective. The type of hypnotic bliss Munk and Sørensen strive for is distinctly timeless. Always Already Here came to life during a handful of intense sessions in Munk's studio in Odense, Denmark. However, from a larger perspective the record seems to be a culmination of several years of collaborating.

                From 2010-14 Munk recorded & produced 3 full-length albums for Sørensen's band Papir. In the period 2015-17 the two collaborated on Sørensen's 2 solo efforts ”Solo” and ”Solo 2”. During the same period they have occasionally performed live as a duo, playing semi-improvised shows based around guitars & synthesizers. These live shows have assuredly influenced their collaborative work with an explorative, animated quality which is especially apparent on the album's free flowing, zen-orientated B-side. Always Already Here ties together several musical threads: academic pattern-music, psychedelia, avant-garde sound exploration as well as a highly melodic sensibility. It's a multi-layered, colourful album that demands full sonic immersion

                Monarch

                Beyond The Blue Sky

                  In recent years Southern California has proved to be fertile ground for heavy psych, prog and free rock. The amount of excellent bands growing out of the San Diego soil is simply unparalleled. Among the youngest generation of these bands are the five-piece Monarch, a band rooted in psychedelia and experimental prog, with a view towards broader horizons. There's something refreshing about Monarch's take on psychedelic rock: they aren't afraid to weave allman brothers-esque dual guitar lines with synthesizers and saxophone. They can be heavy, but there's an unmistakable panoramic quality to their compositions too, reflecting the rich and diverse environment they've grown up in, with dazzling pacific coastlines, mountains and desert highways.

                  Compared to their debut album, ”Two Isles” from 2016, Beyond The Blue Sky is a more complex record. The three year journey has led the band through several separate recording sessions and ended up going all-analog at Audio Design studios. It’s an album that’s meticulously crafted and with sights set on new musical territory. Their songwriting has matured and each track feels like a mini-epic, travelling unexpected routes before reaching their sonic destination. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the album's centerpiece, the three-part Beyond The Blue Sky/Phenomena/Counterpart, where Monarch manages to fuse all their influences into one mammoth composition. It's an album to drive off into a careless summer sunset and beyond 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A heady collection of grooving guitar jams, heavy AF percussion and drippingly psychedelic vocals that only the balmy climes of California could bring about. Fully immersive and addictively euphoric jams.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: Limited to 500 copies.

                  Causa Sui

                  Summer Sessions Volume 2

                    Causa Sui's three volumes of Summer Sessions are back in print! This time on the band's own label, on individual LP's for the first time since they were first released in 2008 and 2009. Re-packaged in El Paraiso’s signature style. Originally the Summer Sessions were intended as a side project for the band – a chance to explore their love for other genres such as American free jazz, krautrock, 1970s soundtracks, as well as the psychedelia and detuned stoner-rock that characterized Causa Sui's first two albums.

                    But these three albums came to define the band, and have become become modern classics of psychedelia and progressive rock since their were initially released ten years ago. In a scene often characterized by loyalty to a specific period, there’s something refreshing about Causa Sui’s eclectic approach. With several guest appearances by Coltrane-devotee Johan Riedenlow on sax and electronics wiz Rasmus Rasmussen, Causa Sui venture far beyond stoner-rock platitudes. Take the grandiose opening statement for example – the 24 minute ”Visions of Summer” taking up the entire A-side: here new and old sounds dissolve in a mindbending excursion that recalls Future Days-era Can, breezy tropicalia or Herbie Hancocks Mwandishi group, as much as it sparks associations to Kyuss or Hendrix.

                    Other tracks, such as the frenetic Rip Tide (vol. 2), heads into straight up free jazz territory with Riedenlow going absolutely bonkers on the sax. But this set also allows plenty of room for savory, atmospheric pieces such as the sun-drenched ”Venice by the Sea” (vol. 3) or the Morricone-esque ”Cinecitta” (vol. 2). Praise for Summer Sessions: Causa Sui, psychedelic/desert-space rock band from Denmark, effortlessly takes the prime trimmings of almost every element rock has to offer and propagates a sensation of their own...It’s almost impossible to not appreciate the groovy jazz-rock bass lines of Jess Kahr, the endless expressive jazz styles of drummer Jakob Skøtt, and most importantly the extravagant lead guitar and keyboard work of Jonas Munk...These enduring works of art must be beheld by the likes of rock enthusiasts and/or anyone wishing to seek what psychedelic-rock has to offer.

                    For a modern psychedelic/jazz-fusion/jam rock album, Summer Sessions is as essential as it gets. Sputnik Music. Formed in the late summer of 2004, this Danish four-piece unashamedly reference such esteemed cosmic talents as Blue Cheer, Amon Düül II and Ash Ra Tempel. Yes, it's another improv quest for the heart of sonic enlightenment, but they do it with a conviction, dexterity and drive that few modern bands possess. -Mojo.This is space music, that flows as a lysergic trip with poetic flights that remind us of the cosmic couriers, and also derives from the most free-jazz contaminated by rock music.

                    Causa Sui

                    Summer Sessions Volume 1

                      Causa Sui's three volumes of Summer Sessions are back in print! This time on the band's own label, on individual LP's for the first time since they were first released in 2008 and 2009. Re-packaged in El Paraiso’s signature style. Originally the Summer Sessions were intended as a side project for the band – a chance to explore their love for other genres such as American free jazz, krautrock, 1970s soundtracks, as well as the psychedelia and detuned stoner-rock that characterized Causa Sui's first two albums.

                      But these three albums came to define the band, and have become become modern classics of psychedelia and progressive rock since their were initially released ten years ago. In a scene often characterized by loyalty to a specific period, there’s something refreshing about Causa Sui’s eclectic approach. With several guest appearances by Coltrane-devotee Johan Riedenlow on sax and electronics wiz Rasmus Rasmussen, Causa Sui venture far beyond stoner-rock platitudes. Take the grandiose opening statement for example – the 24 minute ”Visions of Summer” taking up the entire A-side: here new and old sounds dissolve in a mindbending excursion that recalls Future Days-era Can, breezy tropicalia or Herbie Hancocks Mwandishi group, as much as it sparks associations to Kyuss or Hendrix.

                      Other tracks, such as the frenetic Rip Tide (vol. 2), heads into straight up free jazz territory with Riedenlow going absolutely bonkers on the sax. But this set also allows plenty of room for savory, atmospheric pieces such as the sun-drenched ”Venice by the Sea” (vol. 3) or the Morricone-esque ”Cinecitta” (vol. 2). Praise for Summer Sessions: Causa Sui, psychedelic/desert-space rock band from Denmark, effortlessly takes the prime trimmings of almost every element rock has to offer and propagates a sensation of their own...It’s almost impossible to not appreciate the groovy jazz-rock bass lines of Jess Kahr, the endless expressive jazz styles of drummer Jakob Skøtt, and most importantly the extravagant lead guitar and keyboard work of Jonas Munk...These enduring works of art must be beheld by the likes of rock enthusiasts and/or anyone wishing to seek what psychedelic-rock has to offer.

                      For a modern psychedelic/jazz-fusion/jam rock album, Summer Sessions is as essential as it gets. Sputnik Music. Formed in the late summer of 2004, this Danish four-piece unashamedly reference such esteemed cosmic talents as Blue Cheer, Amon Düül II and Ash Ra Tempel. Yes, it's another improv quest for the heart of sonic enlightenment, but they do it with a conviction, dexterity and drive that few modern bands possess. -Mojo.This is space music, that flows as a lysergic trip with poetic flights that remind us of the cosmic couriers, and also derives from the most free-jazz contaminated by rock music.

                      Jakob Skott

                      Instrumentality

                        Causa Sui drummer & El Paraiso visual designer Jakob Skøtt unleashes his most personal vision to date. His one-man-band formula of synths, drums and effects serve him as well as ever. From the avant-electro grooves of Amor Fati (2014) to his ambitious pre-fusion cosmic jazz sessions of All the Colours of the Dust (2016), this latest set is Skøtt at his most ripe: The grooves are deeper, more stripped down to its essentials, yet maintaining the vibrant seamless mix of airy timing, drowning drones & sludgy synth riffs. The album was recorded a few months after Jakob experienced a brief, yet painful spontaneous leak of brain fluid. Instrumentality draws on that corpal experience in it’s titles and artwork, as well as works it’s musical muse. It’s music that constantly dives inwards - ever repetitive, yet constantly moving. From micro movements in Skøtt’s poly-rhythms, to the 5 song cycles diving to the depths of the splintered nerves reconnecting with their natural flow. Sometimes lost but never without a sense of purpose. Welcome aboard.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Black Cube Marriage is a unique ensemble consisting of legendary Chicago-based cornetist, sound manipulator and improviser Rob Mazurek (Tortoise, Exploding Star Orchestra, Isotope 217 and others), members of his Brazilian connection Sao Paolo Underground, Austin-based freeform unit Marriage and special guests Jonathan Horne (guitar, saxophone) and Steve Jansen (tapes, guitar). Formed in the wake of a couple of Austin, Texas shows in late 2015, this 11-person strong ensemble creates waves of sound that can best be described as cathartic. Astral Cube draws from multiple styles and traditions and the result is a sonic eruption where past, present, north, east, south, organic and electronic collides and is poured into the unknown.

                        Traces of cosmic jazz – think Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra – appearalongside abstract electronics and heavily manipulated instruments – not unlike Autechre or Matmos. Occasionally the sounds this group is creating conjures mental imagery of flourishing nature, colourful wildlife, flowing mountain streams and ancient rituals – other times the glistening sonic textures evokes images of buzzing urban power lines or technology gone haywire. It’s ceremonial, yet deeply futuristic music. Powerful, unknown, surreal. A sonic outpouring of light an energy. This is post-everything psychedelia at the outer limits of musical possibilities.

                        The Southern California psych scene is flourishing these days, with bands such as Earthless, Joy, Brian Ellis Group and Astra conjuring new magic from styles of bygone years. But no other band channels the colour, warmth and energy of the coastal SoCal scenery as well as San Diego's native sons Monarch. ”Two Isles”, their debut album, was recorded and produced by local glitterati Brian Ellis, adding a sense of focus and depth to the sound these guys have been developing throughout years and years of aural explorations while growing up together.

                        More than anything ”Two Isles” is the perfect head trip for easy summer days - or all those other days you wish felt like those. It's full of breezy Allman Brothers guitar leads gliding effortlessly on top of gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, prog-rock structures. Even when it get's blustery and heavy there's an airy, inviting quality to Monarch's music that makes you feel all fuzzy inside. With supreme musicianship they're somehow connecting the dots between classic California rock, prog, pastoral pop and the vivid, expansiveness of early 1990s British shoegaze. Indeed these guys have created something that transcends sounding like a time capsule.

                        While psychedelia might be the prism that everything is projected through, ”Two Isles” reveals the fact that this is a group of people who grew up on a wide range sounds available in the diverse San Diego scene: ambient, indie, math, jazz and whatever else was available to experience. It's about mood and texture as much as it's about the ROCK, and might just be the perfect companion for travelling somewhere, physically or mentally.


                        With a band name mingled from album titles by John Coltrane and Sun Ra one might expect Mythic Sunship to be jazz band. However, this is not quite the case, although the Copenhagen quartet shares a similar sense of exploration and general untamedness with that of the two masters of cosmic jazz. The destination is transcendence alright, but the vehicle, ultimately, is assembled from decades of ROCK! Not your dad’s rock exactly (unless your dad hung out in Münich or Wümme in the early 1970s, that is), but nonetheless ROCK, where ferocious drum-pounding and thick, Geezery basslines adds fuel to an endless pyre of blazed-out dual fuzz guitar action. This stuff is wild.

                        Spiritually, the band seems connected to present day So Cal psych-rock, but listening to Ouroboros, their debut album, also reveals the band’s strong ties to the Copenhagen underground scene: members of the band brushing elbows with the avant-garde noise of the record label Posh Isolation as well as the Mayhem venue, and even chips in with the new weird-commune of the Festival of Endless Gratitude. These bros are in the zone alright! There’s plenty of blissed-out riff-worshipping here, but there’s also something slightly unsettling in the band’s skyward travels - perhaps a longing for spiritual redemption? Maybe the road to Satori isn’t necessarily pretty after all. File next to: Amon Düül II, Earthless, Guru Guru, Travellin’ Flower Band.


                        First solo album from Papir guitar player Nicklas Sørensen! While there’s certain similarities with the oeuvre Nicklas has created with Papir it quickly becomes apparent that this is something quite different. “Solo” begins and ends with the instrument the Copenhagen native fully masters by now: the guitar. Throughout the album his main instrument is being explored as a generator of otherworldly, esoteric sounds as well as a compositional tool and - perhaps most importantly - a transmitter of pristine, cascading melodies.

                        There’s a peaceful, savory quality to the record that manifests a musical maturity. With help from the rhythm section of Papir as well as Causa Sui’s Jonas mun (who also recorded the album in El Paraiso Records’ new studio) Nicklas has created a wide, shimmering sound that seems to allude to a multitude of different styles and traditions. Considering that Nicklas is best known as a hard rocking guitar player with a knack for improvisation it’s perhaps surprising that his inclination for pattern-based minimalism, blissed-out ambience and experimental british “oceanic” music from the 1980s and early 1990s dominates throughout this set. This is the kind of record that rewards repeated listens - each listen revealing new layers in the architecture of the sound. “Solo” is an affable, slowburning album where each component is given its own space and place to gently unfold and work its magic in the mind of the listener. 

                        Pan is the first solo effort from Jonas Munk released in his own name. Jonas Munk is a musician and producer from Odense, Denmark who has been active in a wide range of musical styles for the past decade. In the European psych-rock community he is mostly known as the guitarplayer in the respected stoner/jazz/krautrock-outfit Causa Sui as well as related projects such as Chicago Odense Ensemble, a joint session project featuring members of Causa Sui, Chicago Underground Collective and Tortoise, which resulted in a 2LP released in 2011.

                        Outside of these circles Munk is best known as a producer of electronic music, most recently with a full-length collaboration with German synthmeister Ulrich Schnauss. Munk also holds a masters degree in philosophy with a thesis on music and consciousness. Pan simultaneously betrays his connections to the European stoner-rock community and the world of electronic ambient music – this album combines ideas from both worlds, while the result really doesn't belong in neither of them. With Pan's motoric analog synthesizer patterns and its warm, fuzzy drones the influence from 1970's German synthesizer- and new age music, such as early Kraftwerk, Ashra and Popol Vuh, is apparent from the first note. But there's also definite traits of American styles running through this album – from the flowing optimism of Alice Coltrane and Terry Riley to the modern-day psychedelia of Comets on Fire and Bardo Pond. While large parts of Pan has been programmed on electronic equipment there's a jam-like quality emanating from album's seven tracks.

                        The album reflects the idea of giving up rationality and control with the purpose of letting the music flow towards it own ends. The compositional ideas are incredibly simple while still carrying a certain depth. Soundwise Pan is all about analog machines, 30+ year old synthesizers, detuned guitars and heavily cranked vacuum tube amplifiers weaving together in fuzzy, pulsating glory. The title Pan refers to the ancient Greek word meaning all or everything.



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