‘Mantra Moderne’ is a stunning, contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, 60’s European pop and American jazz. A must for fans of Khruangbin, Portishead, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes, Cortex and co.
The duo is formed of Kit Martin, who lives between London and France and plays all instruments on the album, and Merve Erdem, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist from Istanbul, now based in London. This is their debut album.
The album explores universal themes such as love, loss, decay, language and ideology, mixing three different languages: English, Turkish and French. Written and recorded by the duo – Kit composed all the songs and Merve wrote the lyrics – in rural France during 2018, each song was completed within a 12-hour window, pawning contemplation for spontaneity.
Dubbed by Kit and Merve as ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ in reference to the high-end tube equipment that helped it find its way to 8-track cassette tape. The style owes its sound to narrow tape width, valve distortion, spring reverb, the mixture of high end gear with lo-fi equipment as well as a disregard to the norms of hi-fi studio techniques. All instruments were analogue and no samples were used. The instruments that are used range from tablas to darbukas, balalaikas to ouds, MS20 synths to Farfisa organs and a lot of cuica. The mixing techniques were done on-the-fly, tracking immediately to tape: compression, EQ, delay and reverb; meaning mixing could not be revisited!