Kratong – The Bees of Psychic Province

Kratong is a project of Jhonny. Who’s Jhonny? Jhonny is the guitarist of the fine Russian neofolk group Romowe Rikoito. With this side-project he has the chance to explore more musical territories. And he did that with enthusiasm! The first couple of tracks are melancholic acoustic folk songs, which are not far removed from what Romowe Rikoito usually does. But as the album progresses, the tracks get more and more electronic and experimental!

Lovely acoustic guitar, fine violin melodies and restrained percussion form the base of the first tracks, which are really very nice. Kratong uses whispered male vocals as well as nice female vocals which make me think of Sorrow. The lyrics seem to be partly taken from literary sources, the overall mood is rather romantic.

Halfway the album the musical spectrum gradually changes. Electronic instruments are added to the acoustic sources, the compositions get less accessible. Ambient, soundscape elements come to the foreground. At times I have to think of recent, more experimental Kirlian Camera work. Various tracks of Kratong have a meditative, ritual feel. On the last tracks rhythmic and electro elements get more dominant. Some work of Coil comes to my mind.

I must say, the electronic tracks are also really interesting. So you get an album with two faces, each worthwhile. Perhaps not everyone will appreciate both traditional folk and electronic soundscapes, luckily I have a broad taste, so I really enjoy this album by Kratong.

artist: Kratong
label: Wrotycz Records
details: A5 digipack, 9 tracks