Mantra by Ibukun Sunday

Release date: January 27, 2023
Label: Spirituals/Phantom Limb

When listeners in the so-called Western continents think of music originating from Africa, usually the first thing that comes to mind is music connected to rhythms and beats originating from that continent. Often, ambient music in any shape or form is not the first thing that comes to mind.

Well, now, Nigerian electronic musician and violist Ibukun Sunday just might change that perception with his album Mantra.

Lagos musician though definitely binds ambient and West African musics with field recordings from his native Nigeria. Yet, there are other elements within his music that actually connect Sunday with philosophy and spirituality, as he bases this album on the Sanskrit teachings of early Hinduism, especially the origins of the term mantra itself: “to release the mind.”

His PR compares his work to that of Kali Malone, William Basinski, or GAS, as well as Terry Riley and Manuel Göttsching, and that comparison just might be right on the money.

Actually, it is a true ambient album, even with West African field recordings, Sunday leaves practically any rhythms and beats behind and goes for true mood and feel, making his music sound like true world music – something that could have originated anywhere on this planet.

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