Martin Rude & Jakob Skøtt Duo ‘The Discipline of Assent’ LP (El Paraiso) 4/5

The Discipline of Assent is the product of an epic jam session in early March this year at the end of a Causa Sui recording schedule. All this goodness was then tailored into these tracks with added studio effects, etc. The duo obviously consists of Jakob Skøtt, the drummer of the aforementioned instrumental psych-rockers Causa Sui, also co-chief of El Paraiso records and Martin Rude of label-mates, the folkier Sun River. Jakob is also the drummer of Martin’s band so they’re all family!

“Flails & Strands” is a good start. It immediately bursts into a hard bop double bass/drums groove with space-age ephemera of strobe beam synths, ambient radio-waves and chiming obscure percussive effects. There’s more space for the double bass, also maybe slight menace in “A New Arrival”. It swings looser and has a more improvisational feel with the swirling electronics adding a droning effect. On “Aurelius Dye”, the electric guitar arpeggios and slides coil around the humming electronic bass and more rockier drum beat. The drums swagger against bursts of double bass on “Setenta y Tres” with manic, busy electronic effects and percussion adding colour. “Sequoia Sketch” has a laid back, slightly melancholy beauty vaguely reminiscent of the instrumental part of Hendrix’s ‘1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)’.

“The Slip“ is edgy excellence; hard abstract electronics give a claustrophobic feel against the stop-start rhythm. “The Short Sun” has a droney slightly folky feel; finger picking guitar and soaring keyboard sounds over throbbing bass. On “Random Treasures”, for once, the electronic filagree is actually a bit of a distraction against the more interesting rhythm section work. The grand finale is “Mountain Montage”, an 11 minute epic of blissed-out sun-baked raga-rock. As the track slowly uncoils and quickens, the engaging guitar interacts with swirling atmospheric flute sounds.

The music here spans from bustling jazz rhythm section work-outs with abstract sounds to laid-back electric psychedelic jams. Generally, the difference is whether Rude is playing double bass or guitar so you can actually see the join. This is not a problem however as the album does have coherence with good quality performances and an expert curation of the output from that day in March.

Kevin Ward