PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Praful: One Day Deep

Michael Beaumont

Praful

One Day Deep

Label: N-Coded Music
US Release Date: 2003-07-15
UK Release Date: 2003-09-15
Amazon
iTunes

One Day Deep by German musician Praful (pronounced pra-fool) is a kind of hybrid world music, jazz, and electronica affair that manages to glide along in a smooth jazz kind of way that does nothing to offend, but simultaneously does nothing to distinguish itself either. Destined to be played in fusion restaurants around the globe, Praful's particular brand of down-tempo acid jazz has all the elements that make the genre a turn-off to both jazz aficionados and electronic fans alike. The problem being, it holds none of the extremes of either genre -- neither the skilled improvisations of the best jazz music, nor the far reaching sounds and beats of the premier electronic outfits. Thus, it is left blandly CHR.

Praful was born and raised in Germany and quickly became enchanted with the international music scene in Amsterdam, where he studied jazz, sax, and flute. In the early '90s he frequently traveled to Brazil and India, picking up on the native rhythms of those countries. Later, in the late '90s, Praful began soaking up the sounds of drum and bass, trip hop, and dance music, and actually formed an electronic outfit named Project 2000.

All of those influences and travels come into play on One Day Deep, where Praful makes use of such diverse instruments as tenor sax, Indian bamboo flute, djembe, moog, and congas. With a list like that, you no doubt get the idea. This is music to have on while cooking, or doing yoga, or decorating your apartment with items purchased at World Market. It is not, unfortunately, music that will stand the test of time or take a long residence in your record collection. Unfortunately, One Day Deep is destined to be purchased on a whim in some burst of "exploring my musical boundaries" foolishness and later left collecting dust with old Enigma and Deep Forest CDs.

That's not to say that Praful is without talent. He's just picked the wrong genre. The best moments on One Day Deep are those in which Praful gives himself over to a particular style. For instance, "Morphic Resonance" (no, I'm not joking, that's really the title) has a more electronic feel than most of the cuts here, and whereas most jazz/world music musicians are apt to use electronic effects simply to add a garnish to their music, Praful actually handles the sounds quite adeptly here, making the cut, despite its silly name, one of the more engaging on the album.

Later, on the lead-off single "Sigh", Praful adds guitar and Hammond organ to relatively effective use. "Sigh" also contains the most "silky-smooth" saxophone on the album. For the uninitiated, think Kenny G on one of those Ibiza chill-out compilations. However, the backing track is more-or-less effective as wah-wah guitar crescendos coalesce with a steady down-tempo beat.

The problem with reviewing an album like One Day Deep is that so little of it actually stands out. There aren't really any moments of note on the seventy-minute LP. It just kind of does its thing � for seventy minutes. Again, it is not music to be listened to with a critical ear, nor is it meant to acquire the whole of your attention. It is made, presumably, with the sole intent to add "color" to your surroundings. Background music. And outside of experimental affairs like Brian Eno's ambient works, there just isn't a lot of room for background music in the typical listener's collection, especially at the now-standard $17.99 a pop.

If you have a particular affinity for smooth jazz, or some forms of acid jazz, then One Day Deep may be worth a listen, but I would venture to guess that the album still won't strike you as anything special. And ultimately, that's the problem with Praful's music: in trying to incorporate so many musical elements, he winds up doing justice to none.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.