Well this is a refreshing Electrohasch release in the middle of all the Kyuss-influenced stoner / desert rock bands. There’s nothing really heavy here, just psychedelic, inventive, adventurous, melodic and atmospheric progressive pop-jazz-rock. Carpet was formed in 2009 as a solo project of Maximilian Stephan in Ausburg, Germany, and has since grown into a full-blown band. Maximilian plays guitars, MiniMoog, clarinet and Mellotron and sings, the other members are Jakob Mader (drums, percussion, vibraphone etc.), Sigmund Perner (Rhodes, grand piano, organ etc.), Hubert Steiner (electric bass), Andreas Unterreiner (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Jan Kiesewetter (saxophone). So the instrumentation is rather rich including lots of horns.
The album starts off with a quite light, melodic and pop-like title track “Elysian Pleasures” that reminds me of some of the more accessible works by Frank Zappa or the beautiful Camel songs. The heavier “Nearly Four” is pure early 70’s King Crimson. Things get airier again on the 7:28-long “Man Changing the Atoms”. This is nice, jazzy, atmospheric prog rock with some more intensive parts to keep things interesting and evolving. Great! “In Tides” is at first very restful, beautiful stuff until it grows and gets a bit heavier in the middle. The ending is very peaceful. “Serpentive” is perhaps the most 70’s sounding jazzy prog rock track on the album, and “Bird’s Nest” a rather minimal, mostly quiet and experimental instrumental. The longest track is the over 13-minute “For the Love of Bokeh” that has a lot of stuff happening and ends the album in a rather spectacular way. I’m sure most fans of progressive rock will like this album.