Zen Mantra: How Many Padmes Hum? (Muzai)

 |   |  <1 min read

Zen Mantra: I Wonder What It's Like Out There
Zen Mantra: How Many Padmes Hum? (Muzai)

As so much New Zealand music -- especially what was once called "alternative" -- gets codified for radio play and aims for a middle ground, the Muzai label out of Auckland (with a slogan "independent fighting spirit") has provided some exciting, unpredictable and genuinely alternative listening.

In recent times Elsewhere has mentioned the Wilberforces, Sunken Seas and the Bemsha Swing, all of whom mostly deliver towards the "up to 11" end of the spectrum in their own ways.

Zen Mantra (which seems to be mostly Sam Perry from Christchurch) under this amusingly titled album deliver something rather different again, a rather more blissed out dreamy and very beguiling sound which owes a little to shoegaze and drone as much as trippy and sometimes pastoral pop with a psychedelic Syd Barrett edge.

This is a short album (nine songs in 30 minutes) but that has guaranteed it more plays round my way.

And the widescreen sound with British-flavoured pop hooks, a sense of increasing urgency as the album rolls out and with distinctive and discrete songs make it one of those quietly impressive winners which deserves to travel internationally . . . even if it doesn't make it beyond student radio play on home turf.

Whatever Muzai Records are on, they should share it with many of their more conservative colleagues.

This is another good one. 

(Most Muzai releases are digital with only a limited number of actual CDs. You can find them here.)

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

Lloyd Cole may not command that massive audience he once did, but his modest tours always pull the loyalists -- and his songwriting skills haven't deserted him, even though his great chart-worrying... > Read more

Ned Collette: Future Suture (Inertia/The Label)

Ned Collette: Future Suture (Inertia/The Label)

With a flattened and laconic delivery, chiming acoustic folk-styled guitars and some melodic minimalism, this downbeat but widescreen album by Australian singer-songwriter Collette seems to hark... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; JIMMY CLIFF INTERVIEWED: The outsider

Jimmy Cliff – who cut such classic reggae singles as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers to Cross and You Can Get It If You Really Want It back in the Sixties and Seventies – says he... > Read more

10 GOOD ALBUMS IN BAD COVERS: Wash in warm soapy water, dry and play

10 GOOD ALBUMS IN BAD COVERS: Wash in warm soapy water, dry and play

In the course of compiling the on-going series  10 Shameful Record Covers I'm Proud to Own I realised there were many albums in discount bins wrapped in unpromising covers but which were... > Read more