Praguedren, Serfs of the Plant Kingdom

Because Praguedren’s Serfs of the Plant Kingdom is only 28 minutes long, and because it’s quite good, and because it’s very easy to get lost in, there’s absolutely no reason not to just put it on loop and let it trip its ambient-psychedelic way through your head two, three, four times. The duo of Tomas Effliger and Sector 17 pull together seven dream-like drifts gently dusted with slight dub effects. Echoing rim shots snap across cool yawns of sound, drum pulses quietly wobble off into the distance, and the whole time the duo spin out warm, unhurried clouds of ambient.  I like the way this disc works its way down into its quieter environs. The title track, which kicks off the disc, is the most beat-driven piece, riding in on a standard backbeat that gets tricky with a little stutter-step here and there. Its followup, “Helical,” spreads out like ripples on a pond, packing smoothly undulating waveforms designed to bring on a little low-level hypnosis. From there, as the drifts get more and more vaporous, as in the nearly ethereal, spectral tones of “Ghost Castles,” the touches of beat become your lifeline back to solidity–but drift, my friends, drift, safely encased in this very plush cocoon of sound. The duo reconnect with the real world on the closing track, nudging the softer tones to the back. It borders on being a little interruptive after “Ghost Castles,” the chords in that fall into the foreground feeling a little harsh and metallic in spots. It’s a wake-up call, but it could be gentler. Don’t let it stop you from going around again. The ride is brief, but the ride is so very deep.

Available from Dank Disk.

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