Whispered about and rumored, experienced only at high altitude shows tucked away in the Rockies, the first live works from Prairiewolf began to trickle out in the last year. This week, something a bit more tangible is on the speakers. The band’s debut LP captures the pocket zeitgeist of Cosmic Americana, Kosmiche, and ambient country that’s been stirring over the past few years. While that scene’s voracious scope is a proper touchstone and launchpad into their world, Prairiewolf’s eponymous LP can’t be as easily contained or codified as simply an ambient country record. The trio employ the open psychedelics of Don Cherry, the mechanical shudder of A.R. & Machines, the Western expanse of Earth’s Hex, and the spiritual yearning of Alice Coltrane. Atop an electronic gallop of rhythm the band layers synth washes, an engrossing aura of effects, and the slow saunter of Stefan Beck’s glycerine slides.
Like fellow smoke sculptors Bitchin Bajas there’s also an element of dub that sneaks into the mix, though never in a straightforward way. There’s no spring reverb ping-ponging through the headphones in waves. Instead, the echoes ricochet slowly around the room until they begin to rubberize the soul, nodding in hypnotic rivulets that spread through sonic molasses. The album’s most appealing endeavor is the erosion of barriers between the slow motion tessellation’s of spiritual jazz and the pastoral hues of Kosmiche. The record changes course in such subtle motion that its easy to let go of anchor points altogether and let the mind float, bobbing on beat, caught in the current of its cosmic flow.
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