MEDIUM, the third album by Mantra released in 2019, is a hell of an experiment. It’s made of two 17-minutes long songs that can be played on their own and that follow the course of a lifetime, respectively from the Body and the Mind perspective. But play both songs at the same time and you got a brand new track, “Medium”, a maelstrom of harmonies, polyrhythms and textures carefully arranged by the band.
How do you write an album like that? Where do you even start?
In “Returning to dust: the making of Medium”, the band takes you through the creative process of the album and invites you to meet the many people who contributed to the record’s making and how the concept of superposition pushed each one of them to innovate in their own field.
From composition to developing an interactive web app
MANTRA didn’t just write 2 superposable songs. The band members carefully planned out the artwork, the recording and mixing and a very special music video to illustrate and complement the concept. But probably the most interesting addition is the “Medium Experience”, a dedicated web app that allows you to mix both songs yourself in real-time. And to go even further, the band released stems (isolated instrument tracks) for each song, to allow an infinity of new mixes!
More about MEDIUM and MANTRA
MANTRA was founded in France in 2009 and has since released 3 albums with the label Finisterian Dead End. Released in 2016, “Laniakea”, a concept album set in prehistoric times, was especially well-received. The band is also known for incorporating contemporary dance (inspired by Japanese dance butô) into its live shows.
„We really wanted to give people a glimpse of the writing process of the band, especially given the really unique concept of Medium. We feel there is so much to say about what we went through and how we gave birth to this strange object that is this record. We hope it will give people who love the album some bits of behind-the-scenes and little secrets we know they will enjoy, but we also wish that the story behind the record will invite people new to our music to give it a listen and try the Medium experience.”
Link to the „Returning to dust” video documentary:
Link to the „Medium Experience”: https://mantrafr.com/medium/experience/
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