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Papir meets Electric Moon – The Papermoon Sessions Live at Roadburn 2014


Papir meets Electric Moon - The Papermoon Sessions Live at Roadburn 2014After their planet-building collaborative album The Papermoon Sessions, the lucky people at Roadburn last year got to witness the glory of both Papir and Electric Moon sharing the stage together for the massive psychedelic wig-out that is captured on this disc.

Two tracks sit upon a disc that feels so light but musically weighs more than Saturn. “Powdered Stars” starts with pure space rock cosmic wibble and big, heavy chord structures that glide over taut rhythms. It is here that both Papir and Electric Moon show their chops, battling it out in a massive Pelinor Fields fantasy-fuelled attack. As the track begins to slow, we get something more eerie and ethereal; the music becomes more like starlight travelling fast over the skyscape as we watch the Milky Way circuit overhead and illuminate mountains here on Earth. You can hear hints of early Pink Floyd in its hanging garden organ chords, but also parts of Steve Hillage within the romantic guitar lead.

As the track begins to pick up pace again, the guitars get a lot more choppy and Christoffer Brochmann Christensen’s percussion crashes away like the sound of explosions on faraway worlds. Some mighty lead guitar freak out stamps in and suddenly we are dancing in a field at the Stonehenge free festival in 1984. Komet Lulu’s bass becomes almost Chris Squire-like at this point, giving enough twirling low end to destroy your speakers. When a more steady drum pattern clicks in, we verge into Seventies Hawkwind territory, echoed guitar spluttering around like a space rocket trying to work on depleted dilithium crystals, only for the energy to be powered up for the next stage onslaught towards its cosmic destination. The track then begins to fall towards the planet in a cataclysmic conclusion that leaves your head in a bizarre sense of disarray — or at least looking at the wreckage of the lunar module.

“Blazing Milky Way” has a more subdued opening, its rolling tom drums and harmonic guitar leaving enough cosmic space dust to build new alien worlds. When the lead hits in we are dealing with space rock in its purest and most sublime form. This is the soundtrack to Jack Kirby‘s images of Galactus for the hair-shaking hippies in the front row. The music wafts around like joss sticks in a Nepalese temple; it’s an invocation to the cosmic forces and the creator gods of old; it’s a Shiva dance of the universe amongst the bliss-out, tripped-out, Bacchanalian revelry at the end of time.

The music does seem at times as if the band are in a trance, and Mogens Deenfort’s synths are a bedrock of atmospheres that could hold up the 2001 monolith if it had too. At times the track did remind me of the finer moments of Ozric Tentacles as segments glide effortlessly into each other. The drums pick up pace and the track moves towards its climax with a sense of urgency before decaying like stardust near the end. Both Sula Bassana and Nicklas Sørensen’s guitar work is exemplary, as is the playing of Christian Becher Christensen, who shares bass duties.

This another excellent release from Sula Bassana’s Sulatron Records; the only problem I found with this release was that it made wish I had been there to witness such spectacular music in person.

-Gary Parsons-

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