Sh'Mantra - Formula Orange - 2001


Sh'Mantra was born in 1995, and after a introducing's tape, in 1996 they recorded their first CD called "Cornucopia". In 2001 arrived their second work called "Formula Orange". This group, coming from Australia, has the following line up: Alees Hole-guitars, Matt Seldon-bass, Michael Lenton-drums and Thorin Kerr-keyboards and voices (just a few voices).


The music of Sh'Mantra is oriented to the psychedelic rock with experimental features. The references (just to give you an idea) could be: Tangerine Dream, Radiohead, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, although some of those references need to be argued not to mislead you.

Here you won't find any track in a "Division Bell's" way, only the influence of the most experimental Floyd, something like "Sh'Mantra in Pompei". And if we compare Sh'Mantra strictly with Porcupine Tree, we'll note that the Australians are rougher, less elegant and sophisticate, but they win in strength without lose hypnotism. The musicians are a bit dirty when they play, I mean they use their instruments in a rudimentary style. They must develop their abilities, because they aren't expert instrumentalist, although I must admit they know how to squeeze their tools.

Here you are a list of the tracks, obviously psychedelic.

"Kiutl" (10:59), "Robots on the beach" (6:13), "Pit and the Pendulum" (9:36),
"74.40s167.20e04:46:18" (13:17), "Sweat of the Sun,Tears of the Moon" (3:57), "Sunburs on the Cayman Trench" (7:54), "Absence-substance-quality-relation-action-affection-position-time-location-condition-place and state-presence" (17:19)
"Recurring Nocturnal Habit II"(2:58), "Inanimate Articulate"(8:11), "Tws"(24:47)

As you can see, Formula Orange is a double CD with some very extended songs that have a experimental character, without any concession to commercially. Compositions apparently not very depurated with a strong sensation of controlled improvisation, that provides a psychedelic rock ambient full of energy, and with some almost minimalistic backgrounds. Acoustic fragments, incredible crescendos and fascinating sound's effects that you will discover after some listenings. This is the kind of music that allows you to have a glimmer of kaleidoscopic images full of sound and color.

Every time you play this CD, starts a sonorous adventure. This search of new ambient, sounds and shades is what will make you feel the attraction of the group's music.

A few days ago, I was at home, enjoying this CD, close to "nirvana", when my wife, screaming, compelled me to stop the reproducer, arguing that it gave to her a terrible headache. Then, I discovered why this is a great record: I was able to find melodies where other persons just could find noise.


If you take a look to our web, you will see that I voted this record as one of the best of 2001. I believe it deserves it, and I think it's a good investment for the future.

My advertisement is that you can invest in Sh'Mantra: it's a warranty of good musical rentability.

author - date - rating - label

Julio Fernández - February 2002 -   - Independent Release