Album Review: Jakob Skott – Amor Fati

Hello. It’s good to be back from my mission to the fourth realm of Garzan. It was a rough flight, flying through the Araucaria Fire, just past the Eastman Oyster and landing near the Omega Oscillator. The native Garzanians call their home planet an “Earth of No Horizon”, which means if you look out onto the Synthemesc Sea there appears to be no seeming line where the purple skies of Garzan meet the blood-red seas of Synthemesc. If you head to the northern most peak of the Payan Mountains you’ll find the Aya Powa tribe, or the “Mantis in Lace” as it’s translated to in our human vernacular. They are a dangerous tribe, willing to kill on a whim(which sadly three of our crew members found out.)

Yes. It was a dangerous mission, but as they say “Amor Fati”, which is Latin for “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. Good or bad, it is what it is.

If dystopian landscapes, futuristic visions, and the bubbly analog howls that go along with those visions peak your interest in the least, then Jakob Skott has created a soundtrack to the most intense sci fi epic you’ve never seen.

For those that don’t know(and there are probably quite a few reading this that don’t), Jakob Skott is the drummer extraordinaire for the Danish psych band Causa Sui. Skott, along with Causa Sui guitarist -and solo artist in his own right- Jonas Munk started El Paraiso Records in Denmark so they could put out their records the way they want. Besides Causa Sui albums they’ve released albums by fellow psych purveyors Papir and the American band Psicomagia. Munk and Skott have also put out records under their own names. This time around Jakob Skott is giving us his second solo record called Amor Fati. His previous effort was the lo fi-ish Doppler. That record bubbled and swooshed like some old analog machine found in an ancient lab. Amor Fati is decidedly crisper in its production but no less bubbly. It swirls and swells with analog warmth giving fans of both Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream something to love dearly. “Mantis in Lace” opens like something from a late-70s Tangerine Dream concept album. That is until Skott comes in on his drum set and proceeds to blow that thought out of the water. It’s like Tangerine Dream being backed up by Tony Williams. Skott isn’t a “four on the floor” kind of drummer. He’s all over the place. He adds this organic element to the cold, desolate landscape of a post-apocalyptic world his synths bring to mind. “Synthemesc” rises from the ashes of a future war with square waves and radar readings of hope. Bleeps, swishes, and swooshes of sonic stabs come in and out. Amor Fati sounds like Boards of Canada after a long night of agitation and angst. This is what the dark(er) side of Tomorrow’s Harvest would sound like. “Araucaria Fire” sounds like ancient war drums bursting through a wall of flames as laser pierce the air in the background. This is 8 minutes of sonic grandeur. Again, Jakob Skott shows he has more musical interests than just beating on the drums, like building walls of analog noise. But he tears through those walls with tight grooves and snare rolls Buddy Rich would’ve been proud to call his own.

Really, I can’t say enough about this album. It ebbs and flows from hard, spacey funk(“Eastman Oyster”), to beautiful, hazy sunset drones(“Omega Oscillator”), to just plain driving synth/drum strutting with a hint of electric Miles(“Amor Fati”). Jakob Skott has so much more to offer than just being a hell of a drummer. But yeah, he’s one hell of a drummer.

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