Pan-European three-piece PRAQ! claim to be a band that sounds like its name. The combination of bassist Aleksander Zaric, Guido Spannocchi on saxophone and July Skone on drums is one which combines the percussive persuasion of breakcore, jungle and techno with a jazzed-up funk that demands closer attention on each listen. On Strom the trio have their trippy, chilled moments, their big brassy break downs and some flat-out dancefloor stints. PRAQ! indeed.
An album that morphs through jazz-influenced electronica in a way that excites the senses.
Opener ‘Jive Bros’ sets up a big band mentality as PRAQ! make a lot of noise in a short intro, then it’s straight into the erratic ‘Mystification’ which harks to the electronica rave scene with its vocal samples and chasing-shadows drums. ‘Minimal Undergrowth’ appears to be their take on minimal techno’s drone before Premrock’s rap on ‘Oh My Daze’ sets up a trip hop track.
July goes tough on ‘Pacific Pony’ which builds to a dramatic climax while ‘Continental Heat’ has a moody house vibe to it before cutting loose with the euphorics. ‘Chainreation’ sees PRAQ! fidget in their seats again as they deliver a rock-influenced barn-stormer ahead of the afro-beat of ‘Alpine Jungle’. The saxaphone and trumpet become more pronounced on closers ‘Consolidation’ and the ‘Big White Telephone’ as the pace slows, but you’ll be welcome of the wind down after an album that morphs through jazz-influenced electronica in a way that excites the senses.