• white manna Come Down Safari (CD, £12.50)

    label: Captcha

    After long-range negotiations, meetings perceived dimly through a haze of quality Kush and late night trips past the mainland into Compound Manila, the day has arrived. WHITE MANNA has welcomed us into the circle. This band had me entranced from the opening wails of their debut LP, which arrived on the always-amazing Holy Mountain label several years back. At the sound of the opening notes I started wanting to go west to experience the band in their element, under the foggy old-growth redwood canopies of Northern Californiaís Emerald Triangle. Today, through an imponderable series of serendipitous events the heads at Captcha find ourselves relocated to that very localeóbehind the redwood curtain, with our backs to the ground and eyes to the sky. Come Down Safari is the latest White Manna album. While the first two albums cut right to the chase, maintaining driving tempos from beginning to end, Come Down Safari makes it possible for listeners to join the band in the more intimate experience of psychedelic comedown. The opening track ďDeathless GuruĒ sets the mood, finding the band re-entering the stratosphere and gently floating back to earth. Not just a heady mix of blown-out psych, Come Down Safari showcases these musicians moving in a more experimental direction. Sonic textures are diffuse; atmospheres are saturated. Sounds are wreathed in mists and vapors. Drones and quiet syncopations suggest fallís rains coming on. Donít get me wrong: this record still gets loud and heavy. But Come Down Safari makes room for us to hear DIETERís keyboard patterns as they unfold, weaving us a post-apocalyptic web in which to dwell.

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