If you’re not familiar with Causa Sui, then you really need to get familiar with these Danish musical space pilots. They make psychedelic music for those of us who left the hallucinogenics at home. The music that these four musicians create IS the hallucinogen. When you settle in with an album by Causa Sui you are going on a journey. One that takes you from the frigid shores of the Atlantic, clear to the rings of Saturn and beyond. Whether its one of the Summer Sessions, their newest Euporie Tide, or their truly experimental excursions titled Pewt’r Sessions, you take flight. Peaks and valleys, intimate moments of beauty, and mammoth dirges of Black Sabbath-ian proportions. Jonas Munk, Jakob Skott, Rasmus Rasmussen, and Jess Kahr meld their musical superpowers into some psych/space Voltron. They are a force to be reckoned with.
Their newest music endeavor is Pewt’r Sessions 3 and where Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2 were, for the most part, still structured like improvisational jams recorded on the surface of the moon, Pewt’r Sessions 3 is more like free form noise experiments. “Abyssal Plain” feels like an 8-minute introduction into some sort of metaphysical darkness. A transformation from mist to a solid. Beginning like a tribal war call it builds into a meaty riff before slinking back into the ether. “Eutopia” emerges from the darkness and into what feels like a new dawn. Distant organ in the background gives the impression of an awakening. These tracks feel like mood pieces rather than straight up improvisational jams. They could easily score some sci-fi epic or futuristic noir set in some dystopian city. The struggle of man to regain his self and his humanity scored by Causa Sui? Yeah, I can dig it.
The masterpiece on this collection is “Incipiency Suite”. At a nearly staggering 27 minutes anyone who loves the Miles Davis’ electric excursions(Bitches Brew, Big Fun, and Agharta especially) are going fall in love with this dense, free-form psych freakout. It ebbs and flows from manic noise jams to quieter interludes, and ethereal atmospherics that beg you to close your eyes and let the music envelope you. At times it’s hard to tell the difference between Munk’s Fender squall and Rasmussen’s wall of knob squeals from the keys; all the while Jess Kahr and Jakob Skott keep a fusion-like rhythm section pumping that would make Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette green with envy. To call what Causa Sui do on this excellent track “psych” is doing them a disservice. “Incipiency Suite” is something more far-reaching, deeper, and heady than anything that’s merely psychedelic. Moments within this song you get a hazy vibe and feel that you could roll along with the music into some other time or place. I honestly envision these four guys, much like Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack in Slaughterhouse-Five, under some clear dome on Tralfamadore hitting record and letting these sonic excursions happen under the milky way. You get the feeling of space, time, and the unknown all swirling together, creating an existential significance.
Or it’s just really far out, man.
With the inclusion of Ron Schneiderman joining the band in the studio, Pewt’r Sessions 3 is one of the wildest and most expansive collections yet from Causa Sui. And studio wizard and Causa Sui guitarist Jonas Munk plays Teo Macero(another Miles reference, folks) as well on this album; cutting and pasting a day’s worth of improvisational jams into a cohesive, flowing record. This album feels like an album, not a jam session. It’s one thing to hit record and then just “see what happens.” But when you can take those raw, visceral musical moments and turn them into something even bigger than the sum of its parts, well that’s when it’s truly magic. A gift from the universe, courtesy of Causa Sui.
Pewt’r Sessions 3 is the good stuff. Grab it on release day, August 18th.
9.2 out of 10