Date: February 5, 2018)

“From the far out reaches of space
comes the latest release from Bonsai Universe.The band is the
brainchild of musician Woody Aplanalp and his new album "Moonstream"
is performed, produced and mixed by himself. Aplanalp has worked with
well-established artists like Bobby Womack, Lauryn Hill and Aloe
Blacc, and he has taken those experiences into his new 13-song
release.”—The Record Journal

San Gabriel, CA October
2017—Bonsai Universe is the creation and brainchild of musician
Woody Aplanalp. 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

With such eclectic influences over the years,
Aplanalp has developed his own unique style. “I enjoy playing every
kind of music,” he said, “ I’m thinking of this as debut album,
even though I have 2 other solo records in my past. They were just so
long ago and the sounds on this record are so

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.

grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and has music in his blood. His
father and uncle are renowned jazz sax players, Lanny and Richard
Aplanalp. Picking up the guitar at the age of seven, he started
playing music because, “I thought The Beatles were cool.” His
first tour was as the bass player for the Nels Cline Trio, which set
off a long career as a sideman. Bonsai Universe and Moonstream was
both written and arranged by the artist who surmised, “I think I
have my own style, but that’s more for others to say at this

Logerfo is also a friend of Aplanalp, and was partial
inspiration for recording the album. “He was going to be in my
band years ago when I had a band, but we both got other gigs and
became busy,” explained Aplanalp. “Everytime I see him he’s on
my case to jam or make a record. And I’ve been making some
recording equipment upgrades, so now I’m satisfied with the quality
of my recordings. The songs “Summertime”, “Sweet
Exaggeration”, and “Should I Believe You” have been around for
years, but I’m only happy with the new versions. “

inspiration has been today’s political climate. “It’s
unfortunate, yet inspiring,” he states. “The content of the
record is not obviously political, but the theme of the first and last
songs (“Moonstream, “Starstream”) are about escaping from the
craziness. I have been pretty happy over most of the last decade and
was content to help other people with their music, ride my bike, and
simply enjoy being a sideman and music teacher. With the rise of
demagoguery in our society, I feel a need to do more, and doing music
is the only thing I have to offer.”

Moonstream is a welcome
solo project and fantastic debut from Bonsai Universe and Woody


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