It's been four years since Yakshini and I was surely waiting this new fourth Makyo album. I have a soft spot for Gio's music- I always find it very hypnotic and trancey in nature. I just love the way he can make repetitive music so embracing and receptive. This album is no exception in that aspect.
Swara Mandala offers 7 very hypnotic tracks with a big presence of many acoustic instruments and vocals, beautifully utilized, as usual with Makyo. The ethnic side this time is predominantly Arabic/Middle Eastern, with little Indian touches. It starts with the hypnotic trancey Clarity, very monotone tabla based beat with housey feel and repetitive Makyo-style cut vocals that manage to make your mind fade away. Then things break into the Turkish broken beat of the remix to Omar Faruk Tekbilek's Laundry Girl, and continuing into the old school trance sound of Dhoura (T3), decorated with Middle Eastern desert sounds. I really love this one for that old school feel. Shalale continues the Middle Eastern hafla feel, with a strong darbuka beat and heavy use of saz and other instruments- a nice break and return here. Obsession (T5) starts the toning down of the album with more housey feel but not enough essence. Two gems await in the end of this album. The melting snow mix of Clarity offers slower and quieter, yet even more hypnotic experience- just beautiful! From there we slide into the soft caressing sound of starlight which makes me feel like floating on clouds- definitely my favorite track in this album.
Another beautiful album from Makyo, maybe not the best of them, but still excellent. Very good to dive into unaware. The middle of the album lacks some essence for me, but the beginning and especially the end cover for it beautifully.