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Nigerian electronic musician and violist Ibukun Sunday returns to Phantom Limb’s Spirituals imprint with Mantra, a new album inspired by philosophies of the Four Vedas, Hindu’s oldest texts.
Based in Lagos, Ibukun Sunday binds ambient and West African musics with field recordings from his native Nigeria and a deeply philosophical spirituality. His new album Mantra is based on the Sanskrit teachings of early Hinduism, especially the origins of the term mantra itself: “to release the mind.” Sunday’s music spirals and ripples with the endless cellular recurrence of a samsara, cyclical and metempsychotic with undulating melodies.
While employing drawn-out elegance, Ibukun also evokes magisterial repetition. And crucially, his core culture shines throughout the record. He weaves unexpected melodic antiphonies closely aligned with African music into spacious drones, field recordings, and rhythmic patterns, thematically separating the mind from the body - the thinking self from the moving self - in parallel with the Vedic philosophies underpinning Mantra.
Sunday references Swami and Hare Krishna founder A. C. Bhaktivedanta and his work Śri Iśopanisad [Eng: the knowledge], a transcendental spiritual guidance bringing one nearer to the Supreme Personality of ancient Hinduism.