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Papir - Papir III CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.50 | 19 ratings

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3 stars Princess Leia's due

I've been following this band for a long time. In fact, I've witnessed them progress from an experimental indie group called Etna to what they've become now: a fiery space rock trio that seems immune to any meandering riff raff..........and that's keeping in mind just how meandering this kind of psychedelic music can get.

Their two previous efforts, quite aptly named 1 and two, spearheaded a raw riff based psychedelic music that on several accounts sounds awfully close to a certain time and place oh so long ago in Germany. With lll the feel of the band is still heavily rooted in Krautrock, though to these ears, the approach seems altogether more focused. You won't find any 'songs' per se on this album, but you come across tracks that take you out on windswept journeys of big melodic riffs and a way with melody that wraps around your ears like a genuine Princess Leia due.

I believe this kind of music is experiencing a comeback. I don't know who's buying it, but just by scouring through modern artists who employ this kind of riff based psychedelic music here on the archives, you'll quickly sense an amalgamation of bands who all seem deeply enamoured with the sounds of yesteryear. The raw brute force of Jimi Hendrix' guitar playing, the infatuation with the everlasting qualities of the wah wah pedal as well as the influence of hard psych entrepreneurs Blue Cheer. What all of this amounts to in today's music agenda is a kind of ode to the past that not only seeks to mirror the past, but moreover tries to reassemble all of the cool and tasty bits and then stick em onto something special.....something that's supposed to be unique: your own sound.

Papir's sound does implement all of this, and especially guitarist Nicklas caters to those aforementioned trades. He has grown immensely as a musician over the last couple of years in my opinion, and the Jimi shading of his - the wah wah trickery - now seems to have matured. There is an immediacy there that channels melody and writing skills in a way that I haven't witnessed before. As a consequence of this, lll feels more 'together' and 'orchestrated'. It feels as if the lads had written down their ideas before they ventured into the studio........whereas their earlier releases often come across like they'd been recorded directly from a series of inspired jams.

Another reason as to why Papir sounds altogether different than what you would expect from a modern day space rock outfit, has to do with the impeccable rhythm section. Bass man Christian is like a stoic guru in his corner - contemplating the universe and the endless opportunities of the beat. In many ways he's always reminded me of Holger Czukay of CAN. There are distinct similarities in the casual and often laid back bass string strummings of his - the kind that can relegate a serene pool of sound in your back garden yet when unleashed take on the form of great big tidal waves that lap up against the torrential boom of the drums. Christoffer, whom I've previously compared to The Doors drummer John Densmore, is still an all important ingredient to the dish. His nonchalant way about the beat and how he chooses to embellish on atmospheres and crescendos is still a thing of beauty. I hear the best parts of the 60s in his playing and always have, which, for me, is just about the biggest compliment regarding how drums should be played. No metronome in sight here people, that's for damn sure!

Papir's third offering then should please fans of the equally Danish act Causa Sui as well as the wavering psych drenched moods of Colour Haze, Electric Orange, My Brother the Wind, The Spacious Mind and Earthless. These are all bands who share a common love of days gone by - days of making stuff up as you go along - smoking spliffs on the corner - swimming in public fountains and preferably dancing a wee little jig while you're at it.

I love these guys, and especially when they take their time and let the music breathe. On here you can witness them letting the music evaporate into thin air, as the longest track takes the listener into these beautiful slow sections of soothing guitar, gentle bass bops almost mimicking the great John Entwistle only far more delicate and soft - underlining the porous and airy texture of the music, and then this primal stuttering drumming beat gels on by you in the back conjuring up images of our ancient forefathers hypnotically dancing around the fire awaiting and hoping for the rains. 3.5 stars

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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