Papir’s second album, Stundum, is perhaps the purest distillation of their sound. At this point the three-piece had slowly been evolving their style, playing drawn-out, semi-improvised live sets for over a year. When they went to record Stundum with Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk handling production duties, there was a plethora of accumulated ideas ready to burst. An album that not only would come to define the band, but also one of the early releases on El Paraiso Records that would go on to characterize the direction of the label.
Stylistically Papir cover a lot of ground: they fuse intense psychedelica with post-rock, krautrock, jazz and just a sprinkle of ambient. Based around Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen’s powerful and complex drumming, they create instrumental journeys – organic structures of sound that move forward with the hypnotic groove of Can or electric Miles Davis, through euphoric peaks, thunderous riffs and beautiful cosmic dronescapes. Nicklas Sørensens guitar playing displays his admiration for the psychedelic explorers from the 1960s and 1970s, but also has a highly melodic aspect that reveals his appreciation for cosmic German heroes Michael Rother and Manuel Göttsching. Christian Becher Clausen’s bass playing covers a wide palette of sounds – sometimes using the instrument as a solid groove-maker and other times as a tool for creating spacy soundscapes and drones. As a unit the three members achieve what the great power trios of the 1960s did at their most fertile: the ability to combine each facet of the band into a whole that surpasses the sum of its parts.
There’s still something very refreshing about Papir’s genre-transcending psychedelia, and Stundum is without a doubt one of their finest records. The album was recorded with Jonas Munk during an intensive week-long stretch in a small secluded house on Zealand (Denmark’s biggest island) during a rare blizzard, with Munk producing the album with a full-bodied and natural sound. An essential El Paraiso release.