Dec 21, 2014

Sundaze 1451

Hello, just a few days and the buy,buy,buy eat, eat, eat Xmas terror is over once again. Meanwhile in Syria terror of a different kind is rampant it seems that for some killing other humans is like a scoring in a videogame and there's just no way to stop that game until all players are dead. Now how come the players don't understand this...

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, today for the final time and somewhat accidentally extended to 4 albums an epitaph of sorts, so do yourself a favor and ......N'joy

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Once again an artist with surprisingly limeted availble info on his life and work, despite releasing 19 albums, most were'nt 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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"A/B is an album of ultra minimal atmospheric ambient drone-core. The sonic progressions change ever so slowly over time that is standing still and frozen in the moment. A/B is an excursion into dark ambience searching for substance and meaning in a world devoid of reason and compassion. Listening to A/B with stereo headphones provides isolation from a world out of balance. A/B is a temporary shelter from the abuse of conspicuous consumerism of modern culture. A/B is all about a reduction to the basic elements; nothing more, nothing less. A/B is dedicated to world peace for all sentient beings."

Michael Mantra - A/B  (flac  214mb)

01 A M 30:09
02 B Below 39:55

Michael Mantra - A/B  (ogg 122mb)

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With D#m / Gm Michael Mantra brings us an album of slowly shifting ambient ice flows. The music is minimal and atmospheric, dronecore of a most highly developed calibre, an album of extended ambient listening of sonic icebergs, slowly shifting over time. It is based in ultra minimal atmospheric dronecor - an exploration into the dark unknown of sombre sonic states, of the mysterious unknown, leveraging changes in states of feeling and states of consciousness.

Michael Mantra - D#m / Gm (flac  207mb)

01 D#m 40:18
02 Gm 32:35

Michael Mantra - D#m / Gm  (ogg 132mb)

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Evocative and crepuscular atmospheres, tenuous sounds from the inks color pastel, minimalistic melodies acclimatized on background of "discreet" but wrapping field recordings. Evoked and surrealistic soft sonorous landscapes with warm synthetic sounds, mixed to crystalline natural noises, concrete sounds, breaths. A fascinating classic and quiet album of ambient music, to work of one of the greatest and "historical" masters of the sort.

Michael Mantra - Mobius Logic (flac 308mb)

01 There Not 11:44
02 Nand Not 17:47
03 Or Nor 13:35
04 X-Or 9:05
05 Not Gate 22:53

Michael Mantra - Mobius Logic (ogg 138mb)

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“A.L.B.E. is the acronym of “Ambient liquid bass experience,” because the sub frequencies Michael creates are used to stimulate the human brain in helping to reach a state of deep relaxation. Musically we have different layers of fluctuating melodic bass lines that, like sea waves, create a cyclic effect. Everything on A.L.B.E. is reduced to the essential, and the structure is the result of Mantra’s interest in Taoist principles applied to modern technology and musical expression.”

Four long and suggestive tracks, to be listened at low volume relaxing in the half-light, just like a discreet and refined sonic background, or at an higher volume for a “full immersion” into warm and wrapping electronic soundwaves, to the discovery of intriguing and evocative sonic landscapes…” Soft and dilated ambient atmospheres, minimal sonorities, floating electronic carpets, a fascinating album in the typical and unmistakable Michael Mantra style

Michael Mantra - A.L.B.E.  (flac 209mb)

01 Love Squared 13:27
02 Infinite CIrcle 15:21
03 Triangle Oasis 24:00
04 Distant Close 12:25

Michael Mantra - A.L.B.E.  (ogg  123mb)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mantra is a great discovery, thanks!