Delve into the atmospheric depths of Taiwan’s underground music scene with Prairie WWWW.
Floral Cluster is the most recently released single from Prairie WWWW (the four W’s in the name are not to be pronounced, but act as a pictogram for a waveform of grass blowing in the wind). It lasts 9 minutes and 50 seconds and takes you on a journey you didn’t know you needed. The track is cut from the Taiwanese band’s recent album Pán, and sends the listener on an unstoppable ride through Taiwanese world music.
Prairie WWWW‘s music is as explorative as it is healing. Non-stop drum rhythms build into titanic waves of sound, leaving space for experimental wanderings to cut through the hypnotic rhythm section. Understated vocals weave in and out of Floral Cluster never overstaying their welcome, touching on the kaleidoscopic patterns of Hidden-era These New Puritans, a record in which the Essex duo incorporated Japanese Taiko drums to great effect.
Whispers of warped flute and wind instruments go back and forth through visions of psychedelia, as the band perform with programmed recordings of sounds they’ve collected in such places as mountain ranges or places of raw natural being, which adds a true atmospheric edge to their music both live and on record.
With a strong nod to the no-compromise artistic direction of Björk, Prairie WWWW are an enlightening listen. Be sure to listen to 2018 record Pán, and be sure not to miss their show at The Windmill, Brixton this coming Wednesday (24/04/19). Event page/ tickets here.
By Karl Johnson