Anand Mahangoe was born in Suriname but grew up in Holland. He started to play guitar when he was twelve years old. In 1996 "Robberts Guitar" organized the "Dutch Guitar Championships". The price was to become the owner of your own handmade build guitar. After winning the semi-finals he played at the finals which were held at the music convention "Music & Harmony" in Utrecht, and won on basis of his compositions. In the jury were the famous Dutch guitarists Jan Akkerman (Brainbox, Focus) and Harry Sacksioni. Two of those compositions ("Mysterious ways", "Boys with toys") we can find on his first CD release "A man's mind". After the championships he played with the Hungarian (Anand is living in Hungary at the moment) guitarist Szekeres Tamás and later with the American Tony McAlpine.
The first track of the CD is called "Return from the red bananaworld" (7:01) and opens with dark keyboard layers ala Eddy Jobson. When the first guitar notes are played you know immediately: This guy can play the guitar!!! This first track tells you what you get here; uptempo instrumental prog/fusion/metal with excellent guitar work. To make it complicated, I don't think it is prog or metal but it has something of both. So it is a kind of fusion. But what is in a name. If you like great guitarwork you have to listen to this album. The second track "Mysterious ways" (5:07) slows down the pace and begins with a melodic guitar intro. Then the tempo slowly builds up. There are some uptempo guitar bits in this track but the piece stays very melodic. Also I want to mention the fretless bass and the nice drumwork. This is one of the pieces that he played at the championships. Next is the "Attack of the horrible space babes" (4:46), heavy intro but again the music has a very melodic main character. Over the melody Anand plays some breathtaking guitarsolos. "Far away" (4:42) is more laid back. Beautiful melody lines in this great piece. I like it very much, and wonder how his guitar would sound in a progband with a lot of keyboards. (I know he is thinking about that concept) It goes further with the titletrack "What's on a man's mind" (4:16) again heavy and uptempo in the beginning, but the piece devellopes into a beautiful melody. The bass guitar sounds fat, and the rhythm section gives a solid foundation on which Anand shows us his briljant guitar playing. Next is "Mimi goes hype" (4:08) and the listener don't get time to recover from the previous piece, the music is uptempo, heavy and has more keyboards in it. On top of this the guitar of Anand is producing the most beautiful and complicated themes. A lot of progmetal bands only can dream about such a great guitar player. Now it is time for a break and the next piece called "Side by side" (4:43) sounds like a ballad. Again the beautiful melodic lines. This is what I like most in Anand music, it has always a melody. But after this short break, there is another uptempo track "Midnight chaser" (4:33) with breathtaking high speed guitar bits. "Memories only" (4:42) is more a ballad and Anand shows us here that he also can play slow melody lines with a lot of feeling in it. Beautiful piece. The last track of this debut CD is "Boys with toys" (3:38) and this is also a piece he played on the championships. Uptempo with great screaming guitar solo's.
When I got this CD I didn't know anything about this guy. The CD came out of Hungary and was first send to Spain and then to me in The Netherlands. I thought first Anand came from Hungary. But now I know this guy was learning to play the guitar only 40 kilometres from my hometown. And how he can play that guitar now!
"A man's mind" is his first self-financed product to show the world who he is. And I am sure his CD will soon be available in the whole world. Anand is such a talent, he blows the listener away with his CD. If you like guitar players as Joe Satriani or Steve Vai you must listen to this CD. He is not only a technical player who can play a lot of notes per minute but he is playing with a lot of feeling an emotion. His music has always beautiful melodic lines. Please remember his name and spread the word. Anand Mahangoe !!!