Dubbed "progressive world" music, Mantrica is a rather bizarre album that finds singer and percussionist Anant Jesse fusing the tribal influences of Peter Gabriel with the ancient Sanskrit mantras of the Vedas (the foundational scriptures of the Hindus and the source of Indian wisdom). Essentially, this is a chant album you can dance to…
Jesse arranged the music on all five tracks here, which are based on ancient texts from the Krishna Yajur Veda, a 4,000-year-old Sanskrit celebrating the omnipresence of God, according to Mantrica’s liner notes. Jesse also provides translations and descriptions, although more explanation about the album’s origins and purpose would have been helpful. Joining Jesse are 13 other musicians who play instruments like the santoor, bamboo flute, sarangi, e-bow and windchimes, as well as electric guitars, bass and keyboards.
Clocking in at longer than 52 minutes, Mantrica runs a bit long. But rather than bore or numb the mind, it hypnotizes with its romantic rhythms and ethereal meandering. An acquired taste, to be sure, but one that’s worth the risk if you’re looking to fill a musical gap in your life.
Note: A portion of the proceeds from sales of Mantrica will be donated to O.G.C.I., a nonprofit organization created to support the practice of organic farming methods in India.