Carpet Post “Selene” Live Video


German progressive psychedelic rockers Carpet issued their fourth album, the most excellently titled About Rooms and Elephants, in October. A single LP running six tracks and 42 minutes, it’s the Augsburg outfit’s quick-turnaround follow-up to 2017’s Secret Box (review here), and it finds them digging further into exploratory stylizations, saving room for exciting arrangement shifts and turns into space rocking and controlled psych-out jams. The first sharp pivot occurs about two minutes into opener “Selene,” and it’s by no means the last. Serene as some of their melodies and smooth as their overarching affect might be, About Rooms and Elephants is not just an album trying to melt your brain. Instead, it needs you to use it in order to keep up with what the band is doing. It is a record that requires an active listen, and which earns one from its very first moments.

“Selene,” which has a new live-recorded video that you can see below — flugelhorn and all — builds to a driving progressive wash à la peak-era Porcupine Tree before splitting off again into jazzy roll en route to a returning verse and its drift-away finish, but again, that’s just the start of the record. “Full Moon Tune” has a prog-shuffle that sacrifices neither one for the other, and “Spanish Pets” careens into an intricate rhythm of acoustic guitar, piano and drums,Carpet About Rooms and Elephants topped all the while by a vocal melody that seems to assure everything is under control. And so it is as all paths seem to align in the second half of the song toward a somewhat understated apex that fits with the quieter beginning movement. I’ve said this before talking about the band’s work, but it bears repeating just how classy they are. In their arrangements, Carpet are as tasteful as they are deep-running, and listening to the little bit of guitar thunder behind the beginning of “Bitter Lake” and the swirl of keyboard that emerges beneath the vocals and deceptively quick-moving drums, the poise with which the band executes the song is nearly as consuming as the motion itself, and the weighted bounce that emerges from there — a waltz, of course — only underscores the point.

With an extended fade for a finish, “Bitter Lake” pulls double-duty in setting up the 14-minute stretch of “June 19th,” which is not only a remarkably patient and graceful linear build, gorgeously arranged in working from silence up through spacious horns and eventual guitar, bass, drums and keys, but also a lead-in for the melodic wash of closer “Souvenir” after it, which might be an afterthought but for the fact that, unlike the preceding extended cut, “Souvenir” has vocals, so it’s the band’s final statement of About Rooms and Elephants. With a foundation of acoustic guitar and a strong current of mellotron filling out its sound, it summarizes the presence and fluidity of the album well while leaning toward the psychedelic breadth Carpet seem able to conjure at will. It is no less of an accomplishment than anything before it, and accordingly much more than the epilogue one might expect. As one should by then figure, they end in likewise polished fashion, with delicate synth winding its way out as the last element to go, only inviting a return to the soothing open of “Selene” back on side A. Flip the platter. Problem solved.

In a foggy room with a steadily panning camera and bars of light at eye-level, “Selene” offers no less flow in the live clip than on the record, and as Carpet approach a decade since their debut, 2009’s The Eye is the Heart Mirror, they conjure their most vivid images yet of pastoral warmth and thoughtful peace.

Please enjoy:

Carpet, “Selene” official live video

Carpet performing ”Selene“ from the album ”About Rooms and Elephants“ live at Zenith, Munich.

Video by Monacoframe.

Recorded at Zenith, Munich on November 6, 2018.

Jakob Mader: drums.
Martin Lehmann: trumpet, flugelhorn.
Hubert Steiner: bass.
Maximilian Stephan: guitar, vocals.
Maximilian Wörle: percussion, vocals.
Sigmund Perner: rhodes, synth.

DoP: Michael Baumberger
1st AC: Max Rödl
Grip #1: David Wilkinson
Grip #2: Richard Lee Rogge
Lighting: Antonia Zettl, Kai Metzner

Recording engineer: Maximilian Wörle
Mixing: Maximilian Wörle, Maximilian Stephan

Carpet, About Rooms and Elephants (2018)

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