Nicklas Sørensen, of Papir, strikes out on his own for the first time, with Solo (each track is also named Solo). Given the chance to just sit down with his guitar and make it happen, he follows some wonderful minimal patterns, establishing a healthy ambient feel for this listener. Released by El Paraiso Records.
CD £12.99 EPR029CD
CD on El Paraiso Records.
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LP £15.99 EPR029LP
LP on El Paraiso Records.
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The modern prog rock scene is alive and well even if it’s just Papir and Causa Sui exchanging overlong notes. We’ve seen Jonas Munk of the latter band strike out on his own, with lovely results (kosmische soundscapes, to be precise), and being quite the sucker for symmetry, I half imagined Papir’s Nicklas Sørensen would approach his solo work with a similar mindset: get away from the band jams and make something of your own choosing. On the face of it, ‘Solo’ sounds like nothing more than a streamlined Papir record, but it still remains something of a challenge for Sørensen, another chance to further hone and deliver guitar psychedelics.
“Solo1” shows Sørensen in total control of his craft, but most lovely in this music is the production, a clean finish that finds time to accentuate everything: the lovely, scoped guitars, but also the motorik synths and breezy drums. The record’s gorgeous third piece opens on lovely uptight fret riffing, closely recorded shaken percussion and the kind of elegiac chords that have recently brightened up Tim Gane’s new material. These kind of introductions, and their total clarity, make you forget you’re about to get locked into a rhythm: Sørensen’s lays out his grooves so that you want to stay in them.
Sørensen’s melodies are triumphant. They recall the ascendent video game missives you might hear while driving recklessly through a F Zero circuit, or that ludicrous soundtrack Stewart Copeland made for Spyro: propulsive but with an awed beauty, he makes prog rock sound weirdly inspiring. Lovely prog moves for days when you're firing on all cylinders.
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