Dec 7, 2014

Sundaze 1449

Hello,  re-upped the 6 flac Nox Arcana posts and with these i think all sick zips have been re-upped and a frustrating episode of this blog is left behind. Ah well now Chrome has trouble with Java which means i can't log in, luckely i can use Firefox , however posting with it causes some strange occurrences like adding a pic requires a rather curious set of actions, unlike the easy way things go down in Chrome, ah yes the lovely world of coding...

Born in 1950, Mantra had been creating meditative ambient and drone music—soundscapes designed for "brain hemisphere synchronization," the release of the brain's own mood-relaxing endorphins—for decades. Among his efforts along the way were a series of albums on Silentes, along with a few collaborations with Rod Modell. . ..N'joy

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Once again an artist with surprisingly limited available info on his life and work, despite releasing 19 albums, most weren't even aware that Michael Mantra was a moniker, he's real name was Michael J. Stoffan and besides making music he was an animator as well. Some of his work can be viewed and heared at the Library & Study Center in Culver City, CA. I use the past tense here because earlier this year Michael died, age 64 of cancer, completely broke (Obamacare came too late for him). A sad end to a life during which he tried to enhance all our lives, Michael rests in peace..

Michael Mantra creates ambient music. More than that, he creates tools for "brain hemisphere synchronization" (after synchronizing the mind and the body, Mantra's work claims to release endorphins - part of the human body's natural pharmacy which work at the level of opiates). Mixing modulating high and low harmonic tones (low deep drones and high resonating harmonics) with didgeridoo, ocean waves, rain, water, birds and other natural sounds and instruments, create sound structures that "induce a meditative state that synchronizes brain wave frequencies" or, more simply put by Mantra himself, create "Brain Hemisphere Harmonic Healing". He creates a perfect ambient soundscape for the ultimate relaxation trip.

Michael has been active since the early 90s, Bell Born 1987,  Michael Mantra and John Now - Sonic Transform ‎91, Sonic Satori ‎92 and Sonic Journey in 1994, cassette releases all self released through Tranquil Technology Music these preceeded his vinyl/cd career. Since he released many full-lenght albums on Silent, Hypnos and Silentes. He has also collaborated with Rod Modell on the seminal “Sonic Continuum” and “Radio Fore“, and also with Charlz de la Casa. According to Michael’s own words, “F/C” is an almost minimal atmospheric ambient drone core music but not as minimal as the “A/B” album. With stereo headphones this music is a tool for leveraging a change in states of consciousness and states of feeling. You can use this music as isolationist music. You can use this music in a city to filter out the Industrial Death Drone that consumes the souls of humanity. “F/C” evaporates the Veil of Illusion but with layers and layers of soft noise. If you live in the country you can use this music to trigger a journey to another land within. When I listen to this album I feel I am glad to be alive listening to this music. This album is dedicated to world peace for of all sentient beings.”

Mantra attempts to create sound structures that "induce a meditative state that synchronizes brain wave frequencies" or, more simply put by Mantra himself, create "Brain Hemisphere Harmonic Healing". From the early cassette only releases "Sonic Transform" with John Now and "Sonic Satori" to the CD release on Silent "Sonic Alter" and the brilliant follow-up "Sonic Continuum" with Silent Records contributor Rod Modell, Mantra strives to keep the Ambient "ethic" of the early 90's "chill out" vibe alive.

One of Mantra's last music releases was Mountain/Stream, also known as D/A, a two-track album issued on Silent Season in May 2013 and accompanied by eight versions from artists like Sonitus Eco, Djorvin Clain and STL's Lunatik Sound System. In his memory, the label has now made the album and its versions freely available for download—you can find it over at the Silent Season bandcamp page.

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Peaceful, old-school ambient with a subtle new-age'ish scent. Not impressive, nor annoying; an audio tool for transform[ing] negative yin emotions to ... positive yang emotions." This statement sums up what many envision the Ambient "chill room ethic" to be. Recommended to listen with headphones.

Michael Mantra - RNA - Ribonucleic Ambience  (flac  302mb)

01 RNA / DNA 7:00
02 Gateway 7:08
03 Surge 15:06
04 Opus 51 7:04
05 Groom Lake 7:04
06 HoriZen 6:00
07 Lucidryl 9:01
08 Crimson 10:20
09 Return Home    6:50

Michael Mantra - RNA - Ribonucleic Ambience  (ogg 144mb)

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All three tracks on this dilated-pupil ambient disc are essentially the same, all being dominated by the lulling sounds of the ocean surf and mountain streams, and underpinned by many gently faded layers of harmonic drones - some tonal, some bassy, some almost growling. Pulsing, morphing "binaural beat" resonances form among Tibetan bell-like and bass drones that are very close together in fundamental frequency. Footsteps, seagulls, distant laughter, whalesong, and Far Eastern monk "aahhs" are in abundance, but are also buried in the drones, yielding a rather eerie feel, soundtracky and deep. It's also comparable to the Primordial Atmospheres album by Mystical Sun (especially Mystical Sun's "Journey to Samadhi"). Both composers pair dreamlike and "primordial" noises with drones that seemingly attempt to exploit the much-hyped-in-the-'90s pseudoscience of "brainwave entrainment", the manipulation of relaxing mental states via stimuli operating at the same, slow rhythmic frequencies that have been observed in EEG measurements. Regardless of whether this was intended or if it even works, the effect can be quite hypnotic, which is exactly what connoisseurs of psychedelic ambience are looking for."Sonic Alter" still doesn't sound like anything else in ambient, other than, perhaps, some primordial childhood memory of listening through the floorboards to your mother or father vacuuming the living-room downstairs. The whalesong dates this a little, but I think the experience of listening to this record is still as strong, disorienting, and pleasant today as it was in '94. Whatever relaxing activity you wish to do, make sure you bring this album along. It will drift you more deeper into your activity than anything else.

Michael Mantra - Sonic Alter (flac  354mb)

01 Sonic Alter 22:15
02 Heaven Below 22:03
03 Heaven Above 22:04

Michael Mantra - Sonic Alter (ogg 140mb)

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Originally recorded in 1996* peaceful, old-school ambient recommended to listen with headphones according to the liner notes. Due for release on another label back then but eventually canceled. In 2007 this set found it's final format with the inclusion of a DVD video, 2,5 hours of music collected in a double CD set. From the liner notes "
Amanita Musique and Lake Lophophoria are companion albums of extended listening experience. Both albums are about as non linear as you can get. This music represents the opposite of top down algorithmic composing. This music is about repeating irregularities that emulate movements in nature. the music is like sitting on a rock in the middle of a stream and just watching the ewater ripple past you. These combined albums allows for an isolation from noise and distractions from a world in non-nature chaos. Chaos in nature is good. Chaos created by mankind is not good and not efficient, and has potential side effects un-healthy for the human existance"

Two long tracks of sublime and evocative pseudo-abstract and multicoloured ambient textures, built with discreet and repetitive background microstructures layered with continuous and infinite variations worked out from clusters of sounds and sketches of melodic sequences made of light sonorities, delicate and quiet as well, but also hypnotic and warm. Fragile harmonies and mild dissonances in a timeless sonic continuum that enwraps and rocks the listener among infinite spirals and floating waves in an everlasting movement.

Michael Mantra - Amanita Musique / Lake Lophophoria (flac 387mb)

101 Amanita Musique 74:43
201 Lake Lophophoria 74:55

Michael Mantra - Amanita Musique / Lake Lophophoria (ogg 261mb)       

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Previously, Mantra with Rod Modell Sundaze 1239 freshly re-upped

Rod Modell & Michael Mantra - Sonic Continuum (flac 333mb)

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Anonymous said...

May I ask that the Nox Arcana posts from last October be reposted? I simply do not find them anywhere.

Many thanks,


Rho said...

Well Anon i suspect Nox Arcana actively polices the web and has any postings removed- this has happened here as well and i'm not reposting them, my advice to you is look for torrents. The thing is the Arcana people may not even be responsible for keeping them out of the limelight. Most likely however is short term thinking greed keeping them in the dark..

Request said...

I came here looking for Nox Arcana, also. A pity...But thanks for the above.