MusicRecord Reviews

Herbcraft: The Astral Body Electric

Herbcraft‘s third record mixes an hypnotic rhythmic pulse with cosmic organ and ghostly reverb. The Astral Body Electric has the uncanny feel of being at once rooted to the earth and soaring into the ether. I imagine a sort of grand tribal ritual, sleepy-eyed revelers gathered around a campfire under a starry sky—with electric guitars.

Krautrock is a slippery descriptor, as apt to accompany Can’s spastic funk marathons as the otherworldly space-rock of Amon Düül II. The term fits Herbcraft’s broad reach, however. Rhythmically the band moves from the almost subliminal insistence of opener “Mother’s Gate (Shambhala)” to the sprightly bounce of “No Land.” Over this foundation is a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, flutes, organs, synthesizers and vocals, with no single element dominating.

Closer “Full Circle (Eternally)” unfolds in waves. So it is with the record as a whole. No single structure predominates; rather the sound seems forever emerging, in a dozen nascent forms.