Tuesday 25 April 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Causa Sui - "Live in Copenhagen"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/03/2017
Label: El Paraiso Records

“Live in Copenhagen” CD//DD//LP track listing:


01 Rip Tide 6:38
02 The Source 4:42
03 The Juice 8:53
04 Mondo Buzzo 8:35
05 Dawn Passage 9:48 *
06 Eugenie 8:00
07 Ju-Ju Blues 10:45

Dragens Hule pt. 1

01 Eternal Flow 13:01
02 El Paraiso 12:20
03 Mireille 7:39
04 Portixeddu / Tropic Of Capricorn 15:22

Dragens Hule pt. 2

01 First Communication 6:30 (Agitation Free)
02 Homage 9:28
03 Red Valley 10:13
04 Euporie 11:58 *
05 A Love Supreme 16:47 (John Coltrane)

The Review:

Well, here we are, weeks after having received Causa Sui’s live triple-LP set, “Live in Copenhagen,” for review. The album’s release date has come and gone, the limited edition release was sold out during presales. Yet still, here we are, without having reviewed the album. It’s therefore understandable if you – like me – are asking yourself, what’s taking so long for that review? Well, here you go.

At three discs long, Causa Sui’s “Live in Copenhagen is three hours of blissed out psych music. Each hour is a meticulous documentation of two of the band’s live performances; one recorded at the “Jazzhouse” and the other at “Dragens Hule”, both located in the lovely city of Copenhagen. These facts alone make this live registration a lot take in, process, and in my case, write about. I’ll gladly admit that I have yet to discover all of the in’s and out’s of “Live in Copenhagen,” Causa Sui’s most ambitious release to date. If there’s anything you can take home from this review, let it be this, there’s a lot here and it will keep you entertained for weeks, months, and possibly even years.

Each disc is as good as the last. The “Jazzhouse” set is a varied set, cherry-picking songs from 2016’s “Return to Sky,” it’s predecessor, “Euporie Tide,” and the gotta-collect-them-all “Summer Sessions” series.

“Dragens Hule pt 1” is next. This set is made up of mostly “Euporie Tide” cuts but the band has also snuck in a performance of “El Paraiso,” perhaps just to show that Causa Sui still understand their rough edges. No complaints here, a bit of crunch is nice after the gentler introduction of “Eternal Flow” and it is probably no mistake that these two songs are played back to back.

The second set of “Dragens Hule” show stands out because of the ebb and flow Causa Sui put on display. Such is the case with how gently Munk and Papir guitarist Nicklas Sorensen - who sits in on a few songs alongside saxophonist Johan Riedenlow - dance around in the beginning of “First Communication” – a cover – while the synths and sound effects play out like birds chirping on an early spring morning. There’s a playful push and pull in “Euporie” that comes across as studied jazz musicians who are looking for each other before diving into a heady groove. On record, this is a stand out moment, but in a live setting, this search makes even more sense. Once these guys find each other and take off, their firm grip on the groove is proof that if you ever get the chance to witness these Danish boys in a live setting, you shouldn’t hesitate to do so.

Oh yeah, and there’s cover Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” thrown into the setlist like it’s no big thing. That this song and “First Communion” were chosen as covers certainly says something about Causa Sui’s influences. The execution of these songs, on the other hand, proves that the band is more than able to take on such a musical challenge without coming across as snobs.

The umbrella sentiment for this live collection is one of bliss. Causa Sui displays a solid handle on their musicianship and in doing so continue to set themselves apart from the 60s revivalists in the stoner rock scene. Causa Sui plays stoner rock, sure, but it’s also psych, and it’s a brand of psych that is as experimental as it is influenced by worldly rhythms and the free form jazz meanderings of say, “Bitches Brew.” There’s as much thought put into these performances as there is throwing caution to the wind. Walking this line works well in expanding on the studio version of Causa Sui. If you were to ask me though, dive into these live recordings because these are documents of Causa Sui at their best. They’re not rehashing their studio outings, they’re performing and presenting new interpretations of songs that were already as wild and free as they could get.

“Live in Copenhagen is available here

Band info: facebook