Causa Sui - Summer Sessions Vol 2, 3
From Aural Innovations October 2009 update
These are the latest two volumes of the Danish band Causa Sui’s Summer Sessions series. The band is very firmly rooted in the sounds of the early 70’s hard rock but also inspired by Miles Davis and Hawkwind. Some of this material precedes the recording of the material on Vol 1 and the rest is either new or from some of the same sessions. These records are pressed in 500 copies on 180 gram vinyl and have really nice sound. Volume 1 is sold out but don’t worry as the whole set is coming out in a box set of sorts this year with all three volumes. I don’t know if any bonus material will appear or not. Like the previous volumes, that music is all instrumental and even more prominently featured on these records is sax player Johan, who plays amazing stuff. Volume 2 features 5 tracks, 3 short ones ranging from 1 to 5 minutes and two long central jams, The Open Road (14 minutes) and Tropic of Capricorn (23 minutes). The short acoustic Sun Prayer begins things and Jonas sings some harmonies to go along with it before the Rip Tide track begins. This has a familiar sound guitar riff for you and this is the direction that all the heavy rock songs take, with these up and down riffs, intense drumming and then intense sax at different points. Jonas also puts in plenty of ripping guitar solos. The Open Road is one the band play a lot live these days and has a very repetitive guitar and bass line and some quite spacey guitar, synths and sax playing and builds up to quite intense stuff. I love the ending of this track, really spacey and cool organ. The side ends with the short dreamy acoustic piece called Cinecitta. Side two is the 23 minute Tropic of Capricorn and although this is a cool track it does not really stand up to the totally amazing side long track on volume 1 (Visions of Summer). The band is definitely improvising on this piece while the other tracks on the record are a bit more composed. It starts slow and with some nice windy, spacey synths and relaxed drumming and bass as the groove slowly builds and takes form when the band steals the riff for Crossroads and then the guitar jam begins. After a return to the basics, the track builds again with another wah guitar solo and then Johan comes in with some killer sax (for sure this is Johan’s stand out contribution to the band) as the band is really flying now and then it gets really spacey before exploding again. Pretty damn cool stuff.
Volume 3 is a shorter record and does not feature Rasmus (synth player for the last two years) and Jonas plays all the guitars, vocals, keyboards and samples. It has basically three tracks, one of which is split into 3 parts (Manifestations of Summer). Eugenie starts things off with a slow building piece with sax and some nice trippy keyboards as the track slowly builds up. Jonas lays down a very spacey psychedelic guitar solo on this track the ending is very Colour Haze inspired. The next track Red Valley (10 minutes) also sounds very much like one of those building Colour Haze tracks but the guitar is not so dry and has a nice layer of effects on it. This track builds nicely and finally just kills. Manifestations of Summer is slow and spacey with some nice spacey synths as the delay guitars keep a repetitive rhythm before Jonas hits some spacey pedal and really takes us out into space. While all this is going on there is a very
melodic thread in the music as well in the overdub layers. Johan comes in around 4 minutes or so with some sax as the song is building in intensity underneath. It is sort of creeping up on you as you focus on his sax and then, when you think they are going to explode, they head back out into really spacey territory. But don’t worry, it kicks in full force after some spacey guitar and Johan kicks in with another solo. The last section is still very spacey and features acoustic guitar, electric guitar and some nice spacey synths. Great way to end this cool record. So which volume is the best? Hard to say, you will have to decide for yourself.
Check out the band web site at: http://www.causasui.com
Check out the Elektrohasch label web site at: http://www.elektrohasch.de
Reviewed by Scott Heller