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prince rama - Shadow Temple
Paw Tracks venture further than ever with a remarkable album from Kraut-Psyche trio, Prince Rama. With some assistance from Avey tare and Josh Deakin of Animal Collective, Prince Rama have developed a highly distinct sound. Perhaps imagine Amon Düül jamming with Animal Collective and you're very close to what's going on here as they weave epic choral harmonies with traditional Indian chants, synths, a range of percussion, drum machines, and guitars to create a spiritual wall of sound. The trio originated from a Hare Krishna farm in Florida, before moving to Boston and subsequently ending up Brooklyn, garnering a cult following along the way. They quickly came to the attention of Animal Collective who would take them to record 'Shadow Temple' in two locations, Kurt Vonnegut's grandson's house and a haunted church, ratcheting the intrigue levels to almost ridiculous proportions. Retaining the mystical associations and references to lost civilisations, the band throw together tribal drumming, culture-melding psychedelia, cosmic analogue synth outings and reverb-saturated ritual chants for a spectacularly weird album. Where some records of this ilk come across as a bit thin, or a tad too heavy on the bongo jams there's something reassuringly substantial about Shadow Temple. The analogue heat and pentatonic synth motions of 'Lightening Fossil' make for a particular highlight midway into the album, with lots of tumbling percussion and quasi-operatic nonsense catching the ear. Closing piece 'Raghupati' is especially good too, cranking itself towards enlightenment via layered polyrhythms, ringing harps and intensifying mantric vocals. Highly Recommended.