Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr The subtitle is deceptively academic: “compositions and improvisations for synthesizers and electric guitar.” But the title proper of the first official collaboration between Danish artists Jonas Munk and Nicklas Sørensen gets at their zen-like approach: Always Already Here. This smart, accessible album provides instant pleasure. There are indeed easily hummable hooks, more than you might expect from an album that, in a brick and mortar record store, would more than likely be filed under experimental music. But these inventive pieces feel immediately inviting, familiar without seeming derivative, enriched with mathematical equations but alluringly delicious to the ear. The musicians have worked with each other before. Early this decade, Munk produced albums by Sørensen’s band Papir, and more recently performed on Sørensen’s two solo albums. This less rocking, more meditative record finds the duo reaching a mesmerizing groove that sounds effortlessly endearing. The duo taps a number of recognizable precursors: the minimalism of Steve Reich, the ambient works of Brian Eno, the motorik avant-pop of Neu! But together, Munk and Sørensen hit a sweet spot all their own. “Shift” begins the album with a rhythmic, minimal guitar line that plays like a bass, while synth lines, painted in percolating drips and broad washes, bring in melodies that live up to the title. Between guitars and synths, the duo build a pulsing drone that lasts nearly 10 minutes but could easily continue for much longer without growing tiresome. The music stands on its own but you could easily imagine it being used to great cinematic effect, scoring anything from the hypnotic cycles of machinery to the hustling rush hour crowd of a metropolitan street ballet. That “Shift” is an apt title, as the piece moves seamlessly from dreamlike mechanical rhythms to lush, almost hummable pop-like figures. The track titles seem dryly descriptive, but “Patterns,” which technically is just what the title says it is, would seem worthy of a more poetic name. The track recalls Cornelius’ playful electronics on Point, which at times serve almost as teaching exercises but also possess a charismatic drive, demonstrating an unexpected soulfulness in its programmed instruments. The three-and-a-half minute “Here” plays like a synth-pop single ballad, or at least that’s what it might be if there were lyrics. Munk and Sørensen have a radio-friendly side at their disposal if they were ever inclined to use it, but that doesn’t make Always Already Here unprogrammable. Even at 10 minutes, “Magnetic” has a charm that would be at home either in the art gallery or on an idiosyncratic dance floor. If you can imagine German prog-rockers Popul Vuh making a 12” dance single, you might get at something like this track. Munk and Sørensen milk the varied timbres of their instruments to make a kind of magical orchestra, both guitar and synth contributing rhythmic and melodic parts that swirl and swarm around each other, evoking magnetic pull in a wonderfully layered piece. The nearly 12-minute closer “Tide” is more meditative, the danceable pulse put aside to shift from a mechanical pull to an homage to the phases of the moon and their long-distance influence on sea levels. It’s practically a title track, but it also serves to round out an intriguing concept: that this music made out of seemingly cool, artificial parts is subject to the whims of nature—and that nature has its own clockwork, eternal logic, a wisdom that can be tapped for man-made beauty.