Apart from writing about music here, one other element that develops over time with record labels, PR agencies, and the musicians themselves, is friendships. And these friendships develop in different ways, but one particularly thrilling aspect of these connections is the opportunity to tangibly help frame new music that you love.
With this new album by Will Sol, who records as Prana Crafter, I was delighted to be asked to help visualise Morphomystic by creating the album’s artwork. Whilst I hope that I’ve done a good job framing the layered complexities of this dense new psychedelic suite, even with your eyes closed, Morphomystic is a spectacular mental voyage.
Over Prana Crafter’s growing discography, the sumptuous meandering of Enter the Stream, the coniferous fug of Bodhi Cheetah’s Choice, split albums with Tarotplane and ragenag have mapped out different tangents of kosmic rock.
The well he draws from grows out a lysergic fantasy where The Grateful Dead jam with Ash Ra Tempel and Träd, Gräs och Stenar. In the next tent, Terry Riley zones out with Don Cherry and Sandy Bull. Meanwhile, a robed Alan Watts and Terence McKenna compere the whole thing. But Prana Crafter is no mere copy and paste of all this either. Rather, this genuine love and influence is somehow fermented through the lakes, forests and peaks of the top north west corner of the US – Washington state that he calls home.
In this already rich lineage, Morphomystic feels like a hugely important first realisation of a new sonic world. Envisaged as single 32-minute-long piece further subdivided into 6 sections, each part simply indicates a twist or turn in the overall.
Rebirth in the Mosslands immediately curls into your ears with a swaggering guitar before slowly being etched in synthy webs. Weird geometries and reflections rise like infinite horizons, before slowly amassing into a throbbing pulsing whole. Out of the broth, Pyramid Peak renders into a deep electronic form that hangs in the air like huge iridescent clouds. Eventually the whole thing twists itself inside out to reveal a huge cathedral of sound. Buttresses connect and clash in a bubbling mandala of edges and forms.
The two opening parts fill the room like a slowly developing grid which catches fire in the immediate fury of Chalice Of The Fungal Sage. The electronics get blotted out as fried guitars expand rapidly and combust over everything. By this point, it feels like the whole album is a vector through strata where we’re simply moving through a solid block of sound, slowly changing our proximity to each fissure of noise.
By the time the electronic scribbles give way to A Path Is Where You Make It, the sound returns to the overall theme outlined in the opening part, somehow re-anchoring your brain. Ears To Our Earth finally opens up into a floating spacious droning organ and vocal smudges. Odd clicks pepper the piece, like we have finally found respite in a damp cave, but time and time again, weird new shadows appear through the inky black air.
Finally, and quite unexpectedly, moonbeams scan the floor with Starlight Sing Us A Lullaby that could almost be early Fleetwood Mac from some vault. Suddenly the endearingly odd spacey joy, of what happened before, transitions into trembling stripped back beauty.
Morphomystic has been a recording, we’ve spent a long time listening to and like most of Prana Crafter’s music, this works best as a recording you play in its entirety or even loop for longer. This album feels like a hugely successful exploration of repeating themes and the unhurried ambient voids that naturally occur between these sonic peaks.
Instrumentally and electronically, Morphomystic is the deepest, thickest and most far reaching exploration yet by Prana Crafter and it is sublime.