Best Albums of 2020: Howard Givens & Craig Padilla ‘The Bodhi Mantra’

HOWARD GIVENS & CRAIG PADILLA
The Bodhi Mantra (Spotted Peccary)

Spotted Peccary label founder Howard Givens and longtime American synthesist Craig Padilla pair up for this profoundly deep release. The Bodhi Mantra, named after the Sanskrit word for enlightenment or awakening, is an epic work of psychedelic drone-based ambient with powerful extended harmonies that spread out to the horizon in slow, ecstatic waves. It has that indefinable spiritual undertow of the best new age music, particularly the album’s 19-minute centrepiece “Leaving Behind The Now”. Texturally, there are also strong echoes of New Zealander David Parsons’ dark-edged esoteric masterpieces of the 90’s and 2000’s; for Parsons fans this album will more than ably fill a gap left by that artist’s recent inactivity.


Best Albums of 2020 Reviews Index


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