GW Premiere: Bonsai Universe's "Moonstream"

Article Contributed by KG Music Press | Published on Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Woody Aplanalp has made his mark primarily as a guitarist, recording and touring with an unusually diverse and notable array of artists such as multiple Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, soul legend and rock n’ roll hall of famer Bobby Womack, UK chart topper, Aloe Blacc, Indian fusion master Trilok Gurtu, and the “Lion of Zimbabwe” Thomas Mapfumo.  Aplanalp’s avid experimentalism on the guitar, combining disparate elements of rock, psychedelia, world music and the avant garde, have also led to collaborations with Nels Cline (2001’s Destroys All), Banyan with Stephen Perkins, and Old Californio. All of this has served as stepping-stone for the creation of Bonsai Universe and its new album, Moonstream.

Moonstream is a journey to an inner world of electric folk and an outward expansion to the far reaches of a deeper space. The album winds an unlikely yet surprising path from harmony and synth laden electronic music ("Moonstream", "Starstream", "Should I Believe You") to rock and pop sensibilities ("Am I Good Enough", "Sweet Exaggeration", "Walking With My Eyes Closed", "Once Upon A Dream"), to front porch acoustic music with it’s eye on a bigger picture ("A Lot of Nerve", "Summertime"), to utopian and dystopian vistas ("Too Real", "Astrotonic"), whether real or imagined. As Midwest Record describes it,“A modern hippie with a solid CV dips his toes in the water with this break out album in that it's his solo debut and the kick off of his new group concept (and they)take you on a prog lite trip through the universe.”

Aplanalp, who plays much of the instrumentation on the album, also enlisted some heavy friends to help out. Anthony Logerfo (Promise of the Real, Neil Young) lent a hand with drums, Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in LA) added dobro and guitar, pals from Old Californio Jason Chesney and Justin Smith contributed bass/ vocals and vocals respectively, while Miguel Atwood-Ferguson arranged strings. Other very notable contributors include vocalists Rick Garcia, Kathryn Shuman, and Liela Avila, as wells Robert Hall on Synthesizer, Caroline Cirone on arco bass and Bryon Holley on percussion.