Papir : V

The Danish trio Papir have always sounded much larger than you’d expect three guys to sound. With just the guitar/bass/drums rock trio standard set up, these guys make a mountain of sound. At times brash and fuzz-covered, other times dreamy and atmospheric, Nicklas Sørensen, Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen, and Christian Becher Clausen cover terrain as diverse as psych rock, post-rock, and even moments veering on progressive. Their tenure with El Paraiso Records gave our ears classics like Stundum, IIIIV , and their explosive Live At Roadburn that showed they are a force to be reckoned with live. These records set the stage for the trio from Copenhagen to seriously blow minds(and eardrums) for years to come.

Papir have returned from a three year hiatus with a brand new album and a brand new record label. Papir’s V is everything you’d hope from them and more. A double LP that spans over 90 minutes, V is a heady, expansive journey into the cosmos and back. Grab some headphones and a couple beers and get set to take flight.

Papir’s move from the mighty El Paraiso Records to Stickman Records has done nothing to quell the trio’s heady, hazy musical atmospherics. The record is seven songs clocking in over 90 minutes and is easily their most epic set yet. This is their most consistently dreamy collection of songs as well. At times there’s moments of Krautrock repetition(“V.II”), grand moments of blissed-out psychedelia(“V.III”), and epic musical statements(“V.VII”), but nothing ever gets into overdrive here. There are a few moments where Sørensen pushes his amps into overdrive territory, but for the most part this is a groove-driven affair. The rhythm section of Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen and Christian Becher Clausen lay down some solid groove foundations which allow the guitars to float above the proceedings and go where they may.

That’s not to say this isn’t a heavy record.

On the contrary, this album is like looking into some unknown abyss. It’s a beautiful and overwhelming experience. There are moments when everything melts together into one cavernous sound, as if the band are performing in a black hole. I liken it to my experience with vast, open spaces; back when I used to ride rollercoasters and would often go to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for the non-pharmaceutical thrills. Sitting amidst the gray, ominous waters of Lake Erie, those slow crawls up that first great hill on the Magnum XL-200 were both exhilarating and horrifying. Clear days were okay, but overcast days the lake looked like this endless expanse that would devour you whole in an instant. And at night, the giant ferris wheel sat on what seemed to be the edge of the world. Lights flickered as you were cast up into the night sky to look over into Lake Erie’s beckoning calls. V has moments of that overwhelming vastness.

“V.III” starts out like some great post-rock anthem and then seems to slowly dissipate into that black abyss. “V.IV” is reminiscent of the lighter moments of Stundum. It feels like an early morning buzz as the crisp air hits your lungs and the day unfolds before your eyes. There’s a jazz quality to the drumming here. It’s like Tony Williams getting weird with NEU! in 1973. Opener “V.I” is like a hand guiding you through a technicolor maze. It’s breezy and takes flight many times, with the guitars getting nice and gritty at moments. Nicklas Sørensen seems to be channeling the great Michael Rother at times with his fluid guitar notes. This really is the perfect opener for an epic album like this.

Papir have never come across as a band that feels they need to rush through a song. They start a musical journey and explore like free jazz pioneers did before them. Their music is the wandering kind. You put on headphones, drop the needle, and just go where the music takes you. V is their most expansive set yet, giving us seven worlds to explore and get lost in. And they are beautiful worlds, indeed.

8.4 out of 10

 

New Track : Papir’s “V.I” Is As Epic As It Gets

So I’ve heard the new Papir record V that is being released on August 18th, 2017. I’ve swam in its epic daydreams put to music. I have let the psychedelic thunder created by the Danish trio knock my eardrums around and I’ve contemplated the universe and our place in it as the 7 epic tracks spin over the course of 90+ minutes(94 minutes to be exact) and I’m here to say that…I’ll have much more to say very soon.

For now I will leave you with a few off the cuff remarks about the first track entitled “V.I”.

It’s nearly 13 minutes of atmospheric beauty. It never becomes bombastic, crashing waves that pummel the soul. It’s more like an endless horizon that continuously grows into something more far reaching and beautiful. Nicklas Sørensen, Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen, and Christian Becher Clausen are no strangers to epic album experiences. Each time out with them their albums, including Stundum, III, and IV, Papir extend their sonic reach even further into the great, existential divide. With the release of V, and in particular “V.I” they seem to have topped even their very best.

Sørensen puts his guitar wizardry to exquisite work, creating almost jazz-toned guitar lines. They don’t jump out of the speakers and slap you into submission, more so they beckon you into the warm and sunny vibe of the track. With a rhythm section like Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen and Christian Becher Clausen, Sørensen has the foundation to get absolutely orbital with his guitar approach, though things remain more grounded on “V.I”. There’s an airy, organic vibe here that feels mildly psychedelic, mildly post-rock, but very much all Papir.

Head over to The Obelisk and check out track, and read an amazing review of V by JJ Koczan, aka H.P. Taskmaster. A full review right here at JHubner73 will be coming soon. Until then, head over to Stickman Records and preorder the double vinyl of V and make your soul happy.