If you didn’t know it by now, then I’m here to tell you that Jakob Skott is one of the premier drummers working today.He’s based in Denmark, so maybe you guys and gals chilling in your Midwest casa or East Coast domicile may not be aware of the man. But you should make yourself aware, if you call yourself a fan of rock music. Skott’s been the drummer in the Danish band Causa Sui for years, started the record label El Paraiso with Jonas Munk in order to have an easier means of putting out albums, their own as well as those of other like-minded musicians, and he puts out records under his own name. That’s what we’re talking about here. Skott’s debut was a bubbling, hazy, analog synth-soaked record called Doppler. Think Boards of Canada recorded on a space station located on an asteroid heading into the heart of the sun. It’s a warm and intense musical moment that set Jakob Skott apart from so many other synth-heavy projects. His next two albums set the stage for what has become the “Jakob Skott Experience”. Amor Fati and Taurus Rising are these unique and exquisite records filled with heavy synth passages accompanied by Skott’s “Tony Williams in space” drum extravaganzas. What’s even more unique is the musical narrative Skott creates on these albums. While Amor Fati feels like a soundtrack to some lost late 70s/early 80s sci fi relic(think something starring Rutger Hauer on a mission to Mars to find the secret of the universe while being chased by lizard-headed creatures), Taurus Rising sort of eases into a series of groove-filled excursions. Exotic locales, like beaches located along salt lakes on ice planets and buzzing light shows hanging over spatial galactic skies. It’s more of a visceral experience than a narrative to follow.
It’s been a year and a half since Taurus Rising, well, rose. Skott has returned from the alternate dimensions to bestow upon us All The Colours Of The Dust. A five track opus that seems to tow the line between Bitches Brew-esque freak out and space-y free form funk. If there is a narrative, it’s this elemental journey through creation from the ground up. Coming into existence through the buzzing synths and drum freak outs. Creation never sounded so damn good.
Let the “Age of Isotopes” begin. Drop the needle on this opening number and your brain is coated in synths battling it out over an explosion of drums. Think Lucifer Rising melding minds with Pangea overlooking a double sun explosion. Soon enough it settles into a groove within the synth noise and carries you along till the song disintegrates before your eyes into a beehive noise of fading synth sonics and buzzing capacitors. This is how the universe began, people. Soon enough “Face Of Peradam” kicks in and acts as the engine of this groovy space craft of a record. The drums kick in immediately with percussive expertise as layers of analog synthesizer goodness melt over the top of the rhythm like wax on some galactic birthday cake. “Peradam” takes us through different rhythm phases, shape shifting the song into several celestial movements. “The Variable” is a full-on rocker. Taking elements both groove-based and more in the acid freakout variety, this excellent track makes superior use of Skott’s drum dexterity and imaginative and musical synthesizer structuring. “Iron Nebula” sounds like exotic jungle rhythms rising from the broken earth. The production is pushed to the point of sonic breakage, like re-entering the atmosphere on a wing and a prayer but somehow landing on your feet and in excellent style. “All The Colours” takes the record out in style with elements of Miles, Can, and even Lips’ Embryonic, which is basically Coyne and company doing Miles and Can. A flurry of drum strutting and overexcited synth come to a head towards the end as everything melts beautifully into the cosmos.
All The Colours Of The Dust take us full circle. Jakob Skott seems to have a pretty good grasp of things musically. He knows what he wants and he can take those sounds in his head and commit them to tape quite beautifully. ‘Dust’ is yet another stellar sonic trip of groove and bubbling synth freak out, courtesy of one of today’s premier musical innovators.