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Papir – Live At Roadburn

El Paraiso

Papir - Live at RoadburnThe list of Roadburn live albums seems to grow each year. The festival itself always manages to get the cream of the crop of alternative musicians to perform, and when you listen to the likes of Earthless and Bong’s live albums from there you can tell that you are really missing out on something special if you don’t attend. This release comes hot on the heels of Papir and Electric Moon‘s Papermoon live at Roadburn set, but stands alone as an entity within itself.

“Lykk Trep-r Hi-Losé” is a full steam ahead rocker with big chords that come crashing down around your head. The drums pound out complex rhythms that complement the urgent nature of the track. It sort of reminded me of Sonic Youth on acid, with visceral chops that aim straight for the third eye rather than for the gut. When the middle part hits in we start to get all Pink Fairies-like with chords that wouldn’t have sounded out of sync at Uncle Harry’s place.

“IIII.I” starts almost breezy and has a very West Coast feel to it as gentle mind-expanding chords slip away over the subconscious to make you drift like spirits amongst the trees. The lead guitar is emotional as it storms over the bass and drums to send you off to never-never land. The track builds and gets a touch of the Quicksilver Messenger Service about it while climbing euphorically upwards. When the piece slips downward, we get an atmosphere of drifting on a boat in open water on a summer’s afternoon.

“Monday” starts very Ozric Tentacles-like, with rolling jazz drum patterns and jumping bass over which the lead guitar strolls into strange territory. The echo adds a blissful otherworldly feel as the sound is swamped in psychedelic reverb to help bring colours alive and jettisons into some wild freak-out lead as sound and light merge. This is the kind of music  Hendrix was probably playing at the UFO Club in ’67 when the band jammed ferociously for hours. Again, when they bring the whole sound down, you’re left with a summer breeze atmosphere and people dancing slowly through fields touched by early evening rays.

“Live I” starts in fairly tranquil mood, its plucked guitar chords contrasting nicely with the steady bass and drums. The track begins to speed up and suddenly colours are swirling and moving to the music; it reminds me here of Acid Mothers Temple in its general wig-out style of hard-driven psychedelia. When the bass and drums take the track down there’s a slight feeling of one of The Doors‘ monumental mid-sections. Again, airborne lead guitar adds a breath of sunshine to proceedings.

“Live II” has some wonderful wah-wah guitar to introduce a wild rocket ride out to neverwhere, its big riff awash in a cosmic sea of echo bringing a catchy refrain for your mind to latch onto. Within a few minutes the riffs start getting quite heavy metal, sounding kind of like Budgie doing a cover of a Pink Floyd song. This feels like the heaviest track on the album due to its riff being fairly relentless in places, but also gives you something to shake your head along to.

“Sunday #2″begins with some John Bonham-style drumming as a journey around the kit gives us a far out version of the beginning of “Rock ‘n’ Roll”. This is the longest track of the album and I was wondering as I listened to it whether or not this could be an encore. The guitar places some sweet leaf chords as the bass jostles beneath it, all trying to latch the track back down towards the earth. This is where the audience would start waving their arms in the air over multi-coloured oil light projections. It gives you time to drift and dance in your own space as the music swirls around you. At one point the guitar almost seems like its playing a raga and takes on an eastern vibe. This is tripped-out music for those who live in brightly painted houses on love street and are in search of forever on the higher plane.

Another fantastic Roadburn live set and another beautiful, blissful Papir album that could help you attain a different reality.

-Gary Parsons-

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