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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GIVENS & PADILLA: The Bodhi Mantra (2020)

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

The Bodhi Mantra is a superb album filled with the scents of Michael Stearns' Chronos long before the incenses of Buddhist temples

1 Prana 13:01

2 Serenity, The Peaceful Place 9:29

3 Leaving Behind the Now 18:50

(Vinyl/DDL 41:21) (V.F.)

(Ambiant, Pastoral EM)

A reverberating wave extends its darkness which creeps like a dark mass through these oblong circles which rise and fall in a slow hypnotic spiral. Quiet but resonating with its vibrating arcs, Prana is like a long, because very slow, polarizing circle, a kaleidoscope that turns upside down, and from which seems to escape different sound sources that will be at the heart of its intensity. Circadian beats infiltrate this circle around the 3 minutes. In doing so, the structure takes on a more lively tangent as the morphic mists attempt to slow its magnetizing cadence. The beats come closer as tinkles, always arising from nothingness, add to the charms of Prana's progression. Synth layers etiolate their ambient charms in long scarlet filaments which seem to cry out under the tchick-tchang incantatory specters of Tibetan shamans. Between Steve Roach and Michael Stearns, I think a lot about Chronos here, the structure continues its procession accentuating a level of intensity that fills our ears with an ambient dynamism. Sustained and powerful, this dynamism melts into a finale where the violins bite the mists. Prana is an invitation from the duo Givens & Padilla to discover THE BODHI MANTRA. An invitation that we simply cannot refuse. This 3rd collaboration follows the precepts of Being of Light, and more particularly of its flagship title A Contemplative State. Inspired by Buddhism, THE BODHI MANTRA offers a very immersive but also very energizing meditative music with implosive cores which stimulate elements of ambiences whose muffled tumults drag us into its magnetizing spirals. Offered in a 12″ 140gr vinyl format, THE BODHI MANTRA is also available in downloadable format, no CD edition is planned, on the various download platforms, including that of the American label which offers you the possibility of obtaining it in format 24-bit High-Res.

Angelus cords open the portal giving access to the very beautiful Serenity, The Peaceful Place. The chords ring with a tonal poetry which marks the ambiences by each note. Veils of voices, not quite formed, flutter slowly here and there, while gently this hesitant chime takes a little more confidence to finally lay down a morphic waltz which links these slender layers to these astral tinkles which remind me so much of Ray Lynch's universe in Deep Breakfast. Built on the same model as Prana, Leaving Behind the Now offers ambient movement with layers of synth whose long wings crisscross in a slow astral ballet. A drone line escapes from the friction of these sound wings, creating a reverberating effect which increases the musical mass of THE BODHI MANTRA's longest track to which various tonal elements will be grafted such as the emergence of bells. An active life comes alive behind the scenes with pulses of humming that somewhat resemble the circadian beats of Prana. And like this title, Leaving Behind the Now takes its velocity in the intensity of its passive tumult. And from this intensity will be born a line of sequences which goes up and down to adopt a circular hypnotic movement, I always have this impression of being in a tunnel of Chronos (Angels, Bells And Pastorale and Escalator) but in a slower vision, where each end of its arc ends with a deep and resonant chord, continually amplifying that hum and phantom rhythm which takes the form of an ambient and resistant Berlin School.

Good headphones at the right volume! This THE BODHI MANTRA is a superb album filled with the scents of Michael Stearns long before the incenses of Buddhist temples, although the two can easily flirt together. There are two points of implosions in this album which are quite simply enjoyable. To discover! In good headphones and at the right volume ...

Sylvain Lupari (August 21st, 2020) ****¼*

Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp

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