Tuesday 14 June 2022

'Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia' by Alpacas Collective

'Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia' is the debut album released from the Belgian musical ensemble, Alpacas Collective.

As outlined via their Bandcamp page, musically, the Alpacas Collective treat listeners to inspired and broad sonic soundscapes that draw from a variety of cultures and eras including 60s and 70s Ethiopian styles and compositions, afrobeat and US style funk.  Or as the Alpacas Collective themselves surmise: "Lagos to Addis Ababa, from Augusta, Georgia to New Orleans...".

The overall narrative of the Alpacas Collective, however, seeks even greater inspiration than even the aforementioned lands can sufficiently provide, as alluded to within the album's title.  'Plutonia' refers to a 1924 novel by Russian author Vladimir Obruchev which detailed the existence of an underground world populated by prehistoric animals and primitive people, admirably captured by the album's original artwork.

It is somewhat ironic that although 'Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia' finds itself immersed within these imaginary settings, the album itself was created in the midst of a real-life period where social distancing, face masks, Zoom-based interactions and excessive amounts of hand sanitizer dominated our world.  Subsequently, the album's recording was ultimately created with audio files having been transferred around the group and band members involved in separate recording sessions, indicative of the way the music industry had to react to the incredible restrictions of the time.  

Conversely, this can also be seen as a challenge that many have risen to - the need to continually create, even in less-than-inspirational circumstances has resulted in an incredible album in 'Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia'.  The album not only still finds a way to boast the boundless skill, chemistry and dynamicism of the Alpacas Collective themselves but the album also plays host to an extended array of friends and collaborators who provide even greater dimensions to some of the music throughout.

The album's playful title track demonstrates much of the collective's charm and personality while tracks like 'Flugzeug String Machine' and 'The Chase' continue in conveying more of the band's positive and uplifting energy.  'Stranger to Myself' delivers as another of the album's high points and an exquisite example of Alpacas' ability to deliver equally sensational pieces of music amidst a more introspective nature.

'Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia' bestows some wonderful moments throughout the album and with great excitement we'll await the collective's next adventure, no doubt, to even further and great magical lands.

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