Label: Spotted Peccary Music
The Bodhi Mantra was a real treat for this addicted vinyl collector. The fact that I love to hear music on vinyl is the driving force behind this addiction. So, I am thinking, when can addiction be a good thing? Ok, I thought for a minute, when the music makes you happy and the vinyl is a beautiful teal and blue splatter and looks very cool when you hold it up to the light. There is my justification. I’m sold- But seriously…
Howard Givens & Craig Padilla unveiled their third release in June this year and it is an instrumental blessing of sound and textures. A little bit of history is good to know before you listen to this immersive slice of vinyl. The artists use analog, digital, and modular keys and synths to create their multitude of sounds and spiritually with an exceptionally enlightened approach. This version of The Bodhi Mantra is a deluxe 140-gram 12" vinyl record pressed on teal and blue splatter colored vinyl with a premium polylined sleeve and color insert.
I pulled this info off the artist Bandcamp page to give more meaning to the album title: Bodhi is a Sanskrit word translated as “enlightenment” or “awakening” which relates to a Buddhist concept of spiritual awareness, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana - being freed from hate, greed, and ego or the unenlightened identity. The Mantra is the musical expression of this serene offering.
That certainly puts things into proper perspective from where I sit. I am interested in comparative religion and have a fascination with the ancient healing arts and all the music these enlightened musicians create. On the other side of all that for the listener that is not seeking any particular path of enlightenment and has a desire to hear some wonderful ambient new age sounds, this is a great listen. There can be a multitude of purposes for music like this. I happen to look at every aspect possible like the album art, the inner sleeve that comes with this album, the credits, the equipment used, and the color of the vinyl, and finally, the all-important sound.
The first side offers one track titled “Prana” which clocks in at 13:01. The mellow and immersive sounds gradually relax you and the tones, wavelengths, colors, and textures go through some changes during the time that fills over 13 minutes. It sets you up for side two which is more complex.
“Serenity, the Peaceful Place” runs for 9:29 and it is perfectly titled. It says it all giving the listener an imaginary comfy chair in your mind's eye to slide right into a melt into the music. The sounds are an invitation to reach down in an explore your soul and find the truth. Our daily lives are so fast and busy that we stop only because of mental or physical exhaustion, or both. This is time to unwind and heal, to recharge those batteries so your inner light can shine again.
“Leaving Behind the Now” runs for 18:50 and it is their ultimate track to close the curtain on their synthesized delights. I find myself thinking of legendary performers such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. I reference these two bands frequently when I hear music that flips that switch inside me. This track did right away and even though it was nearly 19 minutes long I did not want it to end! It just kept getting better as it progressed with the different layers of keys. It starts as a small quiet stream of water then gradually builds to a mountain full of sound. Some of the stronger heavier sounds got the Tangerine Dream thing happening for me.
This was an album that was an awakening to two very talented artists sharing their path with the world. Music, good music, has the power to do that. Do not miss out on The Bodhi Mantra.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-TFOV Founder
August 31, 2020
1. Prana 13:01
2.Serenity, the Peaceful Place 09:29
3.Leaving Behind the Now 18:50