Boomkat Product Review:
Harmonious, communal psych-folk from the ensemble helmed by Marius Houschyar, stemming from summer school gatherings in Bohemian Czechia, and bathed in a languorous spirit akin to Don Cherry or krautrock longhairs. New from Music From Memory.
Music From Memory depart for the bucolic bosom of Central Europe with The Habitat Ensemble’s maiden voyage of mystic discovery. The 11-part album flocks a sprawling array of acoustic and electronic instruments, voice, and the spirits of the natural world for a warmly inviting album that continues in the footsteps of those who have gathered at the site since 1990, converging folk from myriad disciplines of architecture, fine arts, arboristics, music, social sciences, anthropology and much more, mostly hailing from Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy and France, plus locals and elders of Maříž village.
With local wine on lips and smoke in the air, the collective play out a particular conception of Mittel European esoteric folk that only subtly acknowledges modernity thru their use of electronics and atmospheric effects. The crackle of a campfire is detectable in the rich ambience of primitivist string and speaking in tongues voices on ‘Two Voices in the Field’, while the sway in lysergic union on ‘Maringotka’, threaded together by Maggot Brain-ed psych-funk guitar lead, to spangled folk-rock on ‘Clay’, and buoyed on lustrous synth pads in ‘Moments’. At their most expansive ‘Vitr A Já’ feels ripe for a folk horror soundtrack, before the trip begins to fray with he spiralling arps, fluid field recordings and spoken word declarations of ‘Die Vergessenen Orte’, and the forest spirits speak to them on ‘Le Magician de la Foret’.