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Jakob Skøtt – Amor Fati / Taurus Rising

El Paraiso

Jakob Skøtt - Taurus Rising/Amor FatiJakob Skøtt‘s vision is a lively one, high on momentum, low on predictability, careering off on scatter-cake rolls, real percussive wakes that glint aplenty between bevy(ed) electronics and whir-rooting diverts. Melodies that knot up, scramble with harmonies that bounce around in a gigantic pinball machine full of shifting criss crosses, zapped u-bends, choked arpeggios. Pulsating fruits with kosmische kookaburras stinging the aperture. A slight Kraftwerkian jive to the angles, semi-robotic, juicing an adrenalin of hastily-drawn directions, fleeting spasms zinging in the mouth like a bag of sours. Yeah, this is a good cruise, both danceable and cerebral, sucking in a whole crop of influences and spitting them out in pleasing rainbows that glow with a natural happened-upon magic that’s really hard to fake.

“Mantis in Lace” vividly feasts on your senses as does “Araucaria Fire”‘s Tangerine Dream– spanked squabble of textures, kinetically jumping the speakers in gorgeously crumbled agitation, swamp-stomped, tapping a soup of unusual combos. Even when the pace mellows out into the more cosmic, its stirring soul is pearlescently fizzing, caught on the drumskin bubbles, or in the nouveau riches of “Omega Oscillator”, where the milk swishes a certain Emeralds-like candour, itching with a sense it could fly off Rio Grande stylee at any time. Even “Earth of No Horizon”, with its bassy-pinged spine curling a delicate refrain full of bleeping backchat, constantly hints at a bigger picture, a panorama that’s yet to be explored. And explore it does, each track a catalyst for the next.

A strange psychedelic funk seems to predominate too, no doubt visually boosted by the Seventies LP cover geometrics, the drifting vectors holding true to its vibrant contours, jiving your ears. This bleeds through numerous tracks, but charges “Sangue Verde”‘s jazzhands brilliantly, its length nailed in breezy beats as Miles Davislike tone stabs (sounding like dehydrated trumpets) go head to head with a fax machine’s innards suitably tattoo-toed in sustain-smeared ghosties and saw-toothed sundowns.

For a solo artist, Jakob Skøtt’s certainly spinning a lot of plates over these two discs, and the fact he’s a drummer doesn’t stop him keenly brewing up a whole host of extra rhythmic goo from differing sources: an oscillatory armoury beaming with a percussive prowess, pushing the ray-gunned optimism to new effervescent heights. Heights that are climbed nimbly, economically; then suddenly lushed up in a glow of jubilant shapes, as “Pleiades”‘s creamy keylined anthems demonstrate, kicking though all the off-kilterist stubble like some horse-ridden hope. Then there’s “Escape From The Keep” (with more than a nod to that Eighties Michael Mann movie The Keep, perhaps), its motorik skipping ropes raising to a dawn of lovely bass-swept cosmos and sizzling cymbal. Surging synthic arrows that effectively chase those January spectres clean away.

It’s the same with the oxidizing transits of “Bucket Brigades”, that motorway glide cat-stitched to a nonconformist switch of halves and thirds, the beats dropping like rolling heads at some guillotine party, hounded by the goofing elasticity of squidded quivers until Ash Ra secondaries increase the contrast. A heady richness of back-lit appreciation that gazes back on itself in a touchdown of laid-back ambience. An ambience that continues on to the double CD’s closing frames, “Taurus Ascendant”, a delicate synth exploration arrr(ing) to a hammock of swaying half choruses like the processed vocals from some heavenly choir, dripping half-sequenced candy that bleeds into a triumphant sunrise of staggered beats and key-stroked streamers diminishing in faded azure. Its rhythmic heart slowing, perspiration beaded, the void left trembling excitingly.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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