In their basement studio R.A.Z. in East Prague, Tomas Effliger and
Sector 17 paint the walls with sound. Praguedren is a trip into indietronicambient with a strong dub influence.
New album Kartography out in cd and download formats - 2/2/2013.
2012's Serfs of the Plant Kingdom also on dank disk.
Two download only singles - The
Expanding Universe (Lab RAZ mix) and Into Another Place out now. Slower Motions EP (download only) out now.
Praguedren - Serfs of the Plant Kingdom - Hypnagogue review:
Serfs of the Plant Kingdom is only 28 minutes long, and because it’s quite good, and because it’s very
easy to get lost in, there’s absolutely no reason not to just put it on loop and let it trip its ambient-psychedelic
way through your head two, three, four times. The duo of Tomas Effliger and Sector 17 pull together seven dream-like drifts
gently dusted with slight dub effects. Echoing rim shots snap across cool yawns of sound, drum pulses quietly wobble off into
the distance, and the whole time the duo spin out warm, unhurried clouds of ambient. I like the way this disc works its way
down into its quieter environs. The title track, which kicks off the disc, is the most beat-driven piece, riding in on a standard
backbeat that gets tricky with a little stutter-step here and there. Its followup, “Helical,” spreads out like
ripples on a pond, packing smoothly undulating waveforms designed to bring on a little low-level hypnosis. From there, as
the drifts get more and more vaporous, as in the nearly ethereal, spectral tones of “Plant Castles,” the touches
of beat become your lifeline back to solidity–but drift, my friends, drift, safely encased in this very plush cocoon
of sound. The duo reconnect with the real world on the closing track, nudging the softer tones to the back. It borders on
being a little interruptive after “Plant Castles,” the chords in that fall into the foreground feeling a little
harsh and metallic in spots. It’s a wake-up call, but it could be gentler. Don’t let it stop you from going around
again. The ride is brief, but the ride is so very deep.
Praguedren - Head Cleaner EP
by Steve Barker
Praguedren's quick follow up to Aurora Australis offers more of the same fuzzy drone
psyche dub, but not from the dark recesses of a damp Prague night -- this set is a result of a stay in old east Berlin. The
closing track "East Berliner (3am mix)" recaptures the experience of Tomas Effliger and Sector Seventeen spending
time in city blocks open to the sky. No beats: just a stretched shimmer pulled across its four minute duration; any expectation
of beats is thankfully not fulfilled. The original "East Berliner" mix is as near to funk as the duo are ever likely
to get, with a beautifully shifting drum pattern draped across the beats and little other embellishment. Whereas the menace
of "Stairwells" returns them to the eerily threatening style which they are best known for.
Trippy dub duo Praguedren launch themselves into
space on their recent release, Aurora Australis, and the result is…well, trippy space dub. Having gotten used
to their resin-coated, smoke-shrouded psychedelia, hearing Praguedren take on softer ambient drifts came as a very pleasant
surprise. The dub trappings certainly haven’t been dispensed with entirely–the title track vibrates and wobbles
with tremolo and wavering echo in a pleasantly head-messing way. But it does get cut loose in spots in favor of beat-free,
dreamy flows like the closer, “Falling Upward.” This track shows, in classic soft ambient style, that these two
can step well out of their comfort zone and still pull it off. A warm, inviting track of horizon-stretched pads. The real
draw, though, is on those pieces when the two sides mesh easily together. Check “Neon Green Skies,” which moebius-twists
its way smoothly from long, pipe-organ-feeling pads into a clubby/dubby vibe with snappy beats and back again. It’s
a cool, nicely orchestrated blend that clearly marks Praguedren’s course for this release. The next track, “Polarity,”
shows both sides but strips it down to a perfectly simple backbeat keeping time over big, long pads. When the beat drops off
halfway through, you’re just left to coast back to earth on pure, relaxing clouds of ambient. And it’s a gorgeous
I have a great appreciation for artists who can vary up their stuff
to show some versatility, and especially those who do so while keeping a grip on where they’ve been before. With Aurora
Australis, Praguedren readily prove themselves to be those guys. -hypnagogue.com