Mike Dickson

This one was a work of slow torture, where something was started without any hope of it ever being finished, at one stage. Most of what was produced was actually rejected, so if you think this is substandard then you ought to see the stuff that hit the bucket.

The music veers from the deeply electronic to the almost pastoral, and even manages to lose itself in the choral on a couple of weird occasions. Mandala 01 is what really started things off, as you may imagine, and still sounds weirdly powerful, not to mention downright sinister with its ringing telephones and opening line 'are you awake?' Mandala 06 was mostly inspired by a single synth line and simple four chord motif, around which pretty much all of the rest (including a line from a soap opera theme which just rolled off the keyboard) followed. Mandala 08 is a reprise (or rearrangement) of a tune from Cantus, Mandala 07 contains about as many seriously retro sounds as I could muster, and - true to form - my own advice was heeded on this album on numerous occasions: when in doubt, add cellos, and Mandala 02 is specifically planned as being something that starts off in one place and ends up taking you to somewhere you'd really never expect to be.

No CD mix this time - I am not sure this one would benefit from the tracks being anything other than separate entities from each other.

Titles conceived, composed, arranged and performed by Mike Dickson aside from a snippet by the hugely talented Tony Hatch in Manadala 06 which remains inexplicable.

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