“ … feels timeless … ”
Prana Crafter, the project of Washington Woods guitarist and multi-instrumentalist William Sol, has released severally critically acclaimed psych excursion over the past few years, from 2017’s ambitious and explosive Mindstreamblessing to the Ben Chasny-esque Bodhi Cheetah’s Choice earlier in 2018. Veering between Jack Rose and John Fahey acoustic interludes and scorching Neil Young feedback driven overdrive, Sol’s output has never been less than compulsive listening. With new long player Enter The Stream this continues, filled as it is with several gorgeously realized late night, reflective pieces.
The title track opens the album with reverbed and hushed guitars providing a delicate framework for Sol’s understated yet emotive vocals. Reminiscent of of the splendor of American Music Club, this seems to float into the darkness of the night sky from the woods that Sol calls home. This opener then blends into the following piece, Moon Through Fern Lattice, a finger picked lament hel aloft by gentle streams of Floydian analogue synth and free-form guitar. Properly kosmische, this track displays Sol’s great skill of embracing experimentation whilst remaining essentially melodic, captivating and concise. Mycorhizzal Brainstorm combines both synth and soloing with vast waves of distorted guitar to beautiful and powerful effect, reminiscent of a coming storm with a pervading sense of tension and drama. Sol’s music is hugely evocative of the nature around him, the size of his music reflective of the endless woodland and encompassing night sky that feeds his muse. The Spell is a case in point, piano and fuzz guitar cloaking the hazy, late evening lullaby that seem to drift between the trees and streams of the Washington woodland. For those who are in thrall of the likes of Six Organs of Admittance and Sun City Girls this is essential listening. Next, Old North Wind is a perfectly conceived slice of acoustic melancholy that feels timeless; this could almost be found on an obscure but classic late ‘60s psych folk album, if I told you this is where it came from you wouldn’t blink. Kosmic Eko pits synth drone and choirs with curling raps of distortion against some truly beautiful guitar work that is indeed otherworldly and belongs more amongst the stars than on this earth whilst Pillow Moss Absorption takes this concept further into the outer reaches of deep space. Back to terra firma, finale At The Dawn is a shimmering, lovely piece of acid folk, offering a glistening melancholy that is both uplifting and heart-rending, Sol expertly pulling us back to Earth and to home again. If you have not explored the backwoods beauty of Prana Crafter then do so immediately; there are many jewels to be found. If you are a fellow traveller already then you will find much to cherish here.