Spaced-out krautrock impressions from Causa Sui. They bring the tight loops and grooves of a minimal rock group, but add in some slowed down stoner freak-outs. Return to Sky on El Paraiso Records is unapologetically psychedelic, full of heavy riffing, massive drums and surreal breakdowns that sound like something borrowed from Ennio Morricone.
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Here’s a band that Ian likes, but hear me out: it also happens to be Causa Sui. This band -- or as I’d rather look at them, a patch update to the prog rock system -- are well liked on these shores, calibrating tight rhythms, sublime harmonic gestures and general stability amongst a mismatch of things: Kraut synths, groovy bass lines, emotive guitars. Oh man. So much going on! You know how lots of people mistake prog rock for being a big jumbled mess because of how many costumes Peter Gabriel used to change into? I think it’s time we started looking at it more like Magma: ridiculous, but compact, like telling a joke about fitting pretentious ‘70s guitar solos into a car. ‘Return To Sky’ is tight.
It’s tight, and its also tiiiiiight. “Dust Meridian” gets me right on board by going a lil’ abrasive in parts while keeping enough harmony in mind. It also pushes through some really tightly strapped-in band collaborations (please enjoy this description, which was so cliche I had to parenthesize it: ‘floods of guitar against grooving basslines and compact drums’). It ends with all the collected calm of Jonas Munk’s side project or a Sun River cut -- tiny riffs roll down your car window like droplets of rain. They are blasted off by the rock action of “The Source” and then everything gets evened out by “Mondo Buzzo”, where hand drums and narrow riffs meet one another in the eye, making mirror movements around synth fanfare.
I can’t help how ridiculous I sound: I’m reviewing Causa fucking Sui. I’d still say I like it when they hit a sweet emotional spot best, when they become as good as their genre’s Explosions In The Sky. “Dawn Passage” processes its guitar to sound spacey and orbital, but what I love about it most is that devastated chord sequence, one engineered to sound so chill and floaty but inescapably sad at its core. Yes please! More prog sadness 2016; let the totally solemn fret-slides in this record’s title track go on for way, way longer.
10/10 Greg B. 2nd February 2017
Denmark isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you hear the words ‘desert rock’, yet somehow Causa Sui takes you all the way from Denmark to the deserts of California. Entirely instrumental, this four-piece has created five fantastically heavy stoner rock jams that is also about as psychedelic as they can get. The best way to describe their music is that it’s immersive, and so they (as well as the listener) can immerse themselves in their lush tones and grooves. The fact that they run their own label ‘El Paraiso Records’ helps provide themselves (and other artists) the freedom to explore the spirituality of music, and that is exactly what Causa Sui have done here.
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- Return To Sky by Causa Sui
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