Monday, 26 August 2013

Causa Sui - Euporie Tide (album review)

One of the true pleasures of maintaining this blog is stumbling upon terrific music.  I made one of these "trips to discovery" with the release of a music video called "The Juice".  I watched it and enjoyed the lazy technicolor river flow of the psychedelic sounds combining with the phantasmagoria of distorted visions on screen, so I put it on my Hour of Power.  I hope some of you out there discovered this band for the first time the same way I did, which is because of this blog.  What's more, I hope a few more will discover this band for the first time, right now, because of this post.  If that happens, I'll have done my job.  My job here, as it happens, is presenting the best music that the world has to offer.  It's only incidental that most of it is found in the seedy digs of the nebulous "underground" and that most of it is extremely heavy.  The band who produced the "The Juice" video is called Causa Sui and they're ... not so heavy as readers here may be used to.  They were put together by Jonas Munk of Odense, Denmark in anno 2004 and seem to have a decent following, that is if facebook followers is any indication, and it usually is.  Munk also trades under the monicker of the ambient electropop project Manual, which he is better known for.  Causa Sui (a Latin phrase coined by Baruch Spinoza [my favorite philosopher] meaning, "cause of itself" as in, brought itself into being) released their first album way back in December of 2005.  Whichever way you want to slice it this is either their third record "proper" or their eighth with variously volumed "sessions" albums of free jam material.  Of course with collected editions of 'Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3' and 'Pewt'r Sessions Vol. 1-2' discs on the market, I wouldn't hold it against you to call 'Euporite Tide' the band's fifth album.

Oh, and before I get too much farther ahead of myself I should point out that Causa Sui traffics in instrumental music.  Instrumental psychedelic ambient / desert rock if you want to be fussy about it.

The riff that opens the album on the ten minute colossus "Homage" is as good as anything found in Josh Homme's bag of tricks and is the perfect indication of the band's fuzzy foundation.  The song, and indeed the album, glides outward from there in an organ-blessed and wah-blissed tangle of noise building layer upon layer of psychedelic imagery, increasing the dosage until all thoughts, visions and words of the material world have been swept ashore like so many bottle-messages cast from the sea by gently pummeling waves.  Textures and tempos give way to other textures and tempos in a kaleidoscope of inside-out implosions.

The barnacle of smooth ambient elements find anchor on the album via the aforementioned "The Juice".  This dream pop sensibility is a no-brainer considering Munk's pedigree, but that's not to say the band around him (nor Munk himself) forgets to rock hard on this one.  No sir, just as you drift off to another world, heaviness beats the daze out of the listener's head as a Godzilla of wah-fuzz roars into being, stomping down on the Bambie of sleepy feelings.  This battlefield is a place Causa Sui likes to visit often.  "Echo Springs" is even dreamier using synthesized sounds to shape crystalline caverns in lieu of heavy guitars which would destroy them.  "Mireille" is a nice blend of dreamy psych in a sixties, softer-side-of-The-Rolling-Stones idiom and the heavier desert rock side of the band.  Ostensible title track 'Euporie' delivers those Isaac Hayes "Look of Love" shivers and at 11 minutes in length is worthy of the comparison. Mmm-mm, shades of progressive soul.  Album closer "Eternal Flow" begins laconically and ends laconically, building in layers of soothing sounds in the middle, this is the eternal flow of Causa Sui.

'Euporie Tide' ultimately launches into outer space via carefully concealed launch pads sprinkled throughout a desert of git-yer-rocks-off heavy psych fuzz.  "Boozehound" transmits the heavy bug to listeners in a pure and undiluted fashion, but it must be said that metal heads and strict fans of the heavy stuff (and the heavy stuff only) will not dig Causa Sui's approach.  However, if you don't mind a softer touch with your fuzz and psychedelic organ then try 'Euporie Tide' on for size.  Hell, try it on even if you don't think you like the sound of my sell job, because you never know until you hear it for yourself.  If nothing else, it's worth a shot.  I like it, and if you ever need a break from the freakishly heavy stuff, it's there waiting for you, and your wife will probably like it too.

Highlights include: "The Juice" and "Homage"

Rating: 3.5/5

1). Homage (10:08)
2). The Juice (6:06)
3). Echo Springs (5:06)
4). Boozehound (5:20)
5). Mireille (7:13)
6). Fichelscher Sun (2:15)
7). Ju-Ju Blues (6:35)
8). Sota El Cel (1:40)
9). Euporie (10:54)
10). Eternal Flow (9:26)
Total Run Time: 1:04:38

From: Odense, Denmark

Genre: Psychedelic, Ambient, Desert Rock, Stoner

Reminds me of: Air, Kyuss, The Machine

Release Date: August 5, 2013

Causa Sui on facebook
Causa Sui official website


OR HERE (digital)

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