It is strange to think that Mythic Sunship, with seven albums under their belt, only just now in 2019 visited the Netherlands for the first time, back in April at Roadburn. Naturally, the anaconda rockers from Copenhagen, seem a great fit for Le Guess Who? too, because the band has been steadily rising in the psychscene. And for good reason, because their discography encompasses a whole heap of influences, from jazz to psychrock and stoner, mashed together to create a complex yet simultaneously transcendental experience. With not one but two sets at Le Guess Who? this year, one on Friday in De Helling and the other on Saturday at EKKO, we set out to experience both shows to see whether these Danish psychmaestros are actually the real deal.
Text: Merijn Siben / Photography: Sabrine Baakman
Coming just in time for the show in De Helling, this show of Mythic Sunship proves to be the rare instance were you’re immediately enamored from the get-go. Standing in front of a decent-sized audience , their brand of psychrock is complex, technical and overpowering. An interesting role is given to saxophonist Søren Skov, with his energetic yet smooth playing, on top of big soaring guitars. Mythic Sunship provides a wide array of moods and sounds, ranging from stomping rock tunes to more psychedelic jazz intermezzo’s. The way they gather momentum, building upon layer after layer, is impressive. And there’s a key in maintaining that controlled chaos, courtesy of the rhythm section of drummer Frederik Dennen and bassist Rasmus ‘Cleaver’ Christensen. Masterfully maintaining a groove throughout the whole set, in-between insane fills but somehow never losing sight of what’s most important: a catchy, hard-rocking foundation that you can nod your head to. From start to finish, this first set simply grabs you, chuck-full of virtuoso guitar playing, intense sax work and groovy beats.
De Helling may have been pretty crowded, but getting inside EKKO proves to be a daunting task, especially after trying to combine the show of Acid Mothers Temple in De Nijverheid with the remainder of Mythic Sunships’ Astral Family set. But good things come to those who wait, and within fifteen minutes the queued-up people outside can catch a glimpse of the second show, featuring sitar player Ami Dang.
The special , one-off jam session proves to be an interesting counterpart for the show in De Helling. This time there’s a bigger focus on loose, improvised playing, a psychjam that gets bigger in scope by the minute. The band forgoes their Helling grooves a bit in favor of complex, multilayered passages. But just like waiting in line for fifteen minutes, good things come to those who wait. Like waves crushing on the shore, it becomes a soaring show, with the band jamming their asses off. All the while Ami Dangs’ magnificent sitar sounds are hovering above like a cosmic force.
In conclusion, with two sets this weekend, this might be a Le Guess Who? performance that will be talked about for years to come. This is contemporary psychrock at its most precise, diverse and groovy, making Mythic Sunships contribution at this years’ edition one of the absolute highlights.