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Papir - Papir CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.93 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Krautrock that´ll blow your socks off

Let me start by saying that I know these guys from back during high school in the suburbs of Copenhagen. Back then they were playing in a group called Etna, which also featured highly original vocals from a girl called Line, and last but not least Søren(mad dude) on rhythm guitar and additional vocals. The music was an experimental form of indie rock as I recall it and waaaay more subdued and structured than what Papir has evolved into. A full fledged submission to the music itself, where the music seems to have another life on its own. Much like the way Amon Düül ll were able to jam and find each other in these giant waves of notes and sound, Papir is now developing a style very reminiscent of this approach.

I have been listening to this record a lot the past 3 months, and I wanted to be sure that I didn´t come off as a "friend" reviewing, or maybe the sort of blind follower of bands that will lick your boots clean, if you once played coconuts on a Steven Wilson project...

As I mentioned earlier I think this essentially is Krautrock. I recently talked to Moshquito in a thread concerning the actual prog quotient of Kraut - and we were both inclined to say that the movement came from the trip - the voyage into the unknown. Playing together jamming - reaching climatic highs and reaching for the universe. These are large and unquantifiable metaphors - I know, and certainly close to new age country, but that shouldn´t diminish the attempt of trying to elevate music into something that is more than just the notes. Music is first and foremost about HOW you play the notes, and HOW you are able to play together as a band. Papir is like a well oiled machine in this department, and there is no hiding the fact that these guys know each other from way back. They´ve now created some sort of meta language in the music between the 3 of them, and it is a pure joy to listen to.

I actually heard Papir in concert first and wasn´t really prepared for the pianos and keys that are featured throughout the record. Let´s just say I was pleasantly surprised, as they mostly work as sprinklings on the cake - or atmosphere inducing layers that allures you into the music, which really is about the guitar, bas and drums. Christian on the bas is probably one of the most gifted bas players I have seen in DK, and there is a natural element to his playing that soaks through within the band. I can´t count the times I´ve been watching the guy live in disbelief, because the sounds that are coming from his instrument is much closer to that of the guitar or the synth. He also works as a rhythm guitarist - he is just using 4 strings. Then we´ve got Christoffer on the drums, and for a long time I couldn´t quite put my finger on who he reminded me of. Then it suddenly hit me: John Densmore! If you have ever seen a live concert of the Doors - you will see a guy throwing himself into the drums - creating a wide variety of sounds from a very sparse drum kit. Christoffer plays like that, and he is the meat and potatoes of the band - bringing with him a very earthy and robust aspect to the music. Between him and Christian you have a rhythm section that is tight like you wouldn´t believe. They interlock - that is probably the best word for it. Nicklas lastly drives the axe, and he does so with ease and much confidence, but even more so with a will to drive the music forward - to attack - to growl -and to challenge the other guys to grab a hold of their hats and teeth and hang on. He reminds me of Guru Guru guitarist Ax Genrich who also has a soft spot for the wah wah pedal and the frequent psychedelic excursions through blistering solos that wobbles and bends and adds to the whole picture - that element of uncertainty and chaos. This is also very much the case with Nicklas.

Like the Krautrockers of yesteryear, there is a distinct weight on the groove, but in a rather ingenious way it never sounds unmelodious, and that is a feat in itself for any band. If you are a fan of either Guru Guru, Amon Düül ll, Can, Gila or just the vibe and feel of Kraut from the 70s, you should hunt this down with a vengeance. The only downside I can see, is the fact that the album has a running time of 31 min, which nearly puts it into EP territory, but then again there is certain tendency in modern prog records to make albums lasting 90 min 110 min and way beyond that - which I am not particularly fond of. Most of these get long winded and tiresome - and that is most definitely a statement I wouldn´t associate with Papir.

I love the fact that music like this is still being made, where it is allowed to breathe and develop into whatever however- the music almost creating itself, and slowly somehow erasing the very fabric between the artists and the sounds. I am aching to see where this goes from here, so Papir - you can throw just about anything my direction as long as it sounds remotely like this. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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