This album, released 27 (!) years after the project’s previous full length is easily one of the nicest surprises of this year (and yeah, I know it is only March). Prana was originally formed by Tsuyoshi Suzuki and Nick Taylor back in 1994, then based in London as a follow-up to their earlier projects (Blissed and Taiyo in ’93/’94) and released their first album, Cyclone in 1996 on Tsuyoshi’s own label, Matsuri. Andy Guthrie joined after Nick Taylor moved to Australia and another instant-classic album, Geomantik followed in 1997. They were amongst the most respected and celebrated pioneers of the early goa trance scene, but after Geomantik, the project fell apart, when Tsuyoshi moved back to Japan (where he started to experiment with new, hybrid styles).

Fast forward many years to 2013 when the three of them started to play live again, then new remixes of their classic tunes followed and eventually new tracks started to appear. So, there were signs, that they might be up to something, but it still came as a surprise when they dropped a new full-length album to coincide with their 30th anniversary. And what an album it is! When legendary bands / projects get together after a long while to release new material they often cannot live up to their classics, however Prana does not disappoint. Sense Of Unity is 100% pure time travel and it takes the listener back to those early days of goa trance with all the genre’s charcteristics: the hard, thumping basslines, the slowly building trippy synths layered atop and the speech and vocal samples thrown into the mix here and there to create an otherwordly, hypnotic feel.

There are no surprises here, they do not experiment with new directions, they leave all that to others (and their own other projects), they just do what they done so well back in the days and that’s exactly why it works so well. Of course a lot has happened in goa/psy-trance since then, but still, Sense Of Unity cannot be written off as an album made for the old fans, that still prefer the sound of the early days, because it is so well written, so expertly produced and mixed, that each and every track sounds just as fresh and exciting now as they would have back in those days. The only track that takes the sound to a different direction is the closing one, Nick Taylor’s own take on the title track, which is a really nice addition and shows that they can be diverse and modern if they want to be and it adds a neat little twist to an already flawless album, which can easily live up to their old, classic releases.

Sense Of Unity
2024.03.01 / Matsuri Digital
digital / vinyl
01.You Are The Change
02.Tribal Essence
03.Don’t Open The Box
04.Sense Of Unity
07.Sense Of Unity (Nick’s Slime Mix)