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Papir - “V” (2017) review


Papir - V (Stickman Records, 2017)

The all instrumental rock trio from Copenhagen are back with their 5th studio album and this time it is a double LP/CD. I have been friends with the band since nearly the beginning and reviewed nearly all their records.

I have spoken with the band a lot about this record. It took a long time to come out compared to when it was recorded but it is here now! The band brought in John McIntire (Tortoise) to mix the record over in the USA. The album features 7 long tracks (the shortest is 9 min long) spread over about 90 min. As it’s quite common with the band, there are no song titles, just “V.I”, “V.II”, “V.III”, etc. Track “V.I” starts off with a mid-pace, a nice clean drum and bass sound, while Nicklas layers in some very floating guitar. Later, he overdubs a lead guitar... a very beautiful and melodic solo as the track builds in intensity. Some really cool delay guitars and some that sound like keyboards at times. Cool track. “V.II” (one they used to call “Acid Rock”) starts off quite dreamy but Christoffer slowly drives the rhythm a bit faster and at about 3 min the track really takes off. Nicklas then switches from the dreamy guitar to a more hard rock oriented riff and just rips it up on the guitar. Amazing bass playing in this section as well by Christian. Some keyboards also appear (not sure who plays them?) to compliment the guitar lines. It ends in a very dreamy and beautiful way. The live versions of these songs are much more intense these days. “V.III” features some really cool interplay between the bass and the guitar lines. I love the way they compliment each other as the track slowly builds again. A very lush sound with keyboard like guitars at times. Post rock is not a word I would have mentioned with Papir in the past but this track is a prime example of the genre, done Papir style. “V.IV” ends the first CD with a 15 min long track. It starts much like the others but the underlying keyboard sequence plays a bigger role at the start of the track. Nicklas plays some really cool guitar solos on this track. Sometimes a bit jazzy, some David Gilmour like stuff and then just some great lead runs. “V.V” starts off quite slow and spacey with some nice delayed guitars. It maintains relaxed vibe throughout the track. “V.VI” has a bit of a drone at the start and slowly builds with some really cool guitar and again some keyboards (very airy). It later builds up to a more rocking state with some really cool wah bass playing. “V.VII” is 25 min long and ends the record. It starts slowly and very relaxed. I love the section between 10-12 min with the intense delays, swirling organ like keyboard. The track nearly dies completely but then steps forward again to continue in same manner as it started.

This is a pretty amazing record. A bit more laid back and spacey with super cool guitar, bass and drums. They have magic! Each track is its own individual journey. Hope you enjoyed the trip...

- Scott Heller
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