Album Review: ‘Mapusa’ EP , by Mashti.

Mashti-telephoneMusical journeys walked along the company of fellow talented musicians, can indeed bring memorable creations. Still, there’s times when a musical path calls to be walked on its own.

Now was the time of top-Danish producer Mads Nordheim, – a.k.a. Mashti-. Son of the prominent contemporary-classical composer Arne Nordheim, music – quite literally- runs in his blood. Still, the unique thing about Mashti is that, regardless of his musical heritage, he developed his own musical identity: a mix of ancient influences and modern production techniques, creating quite a unique sound along the way.

Now, after three successful releases with Iranian singer Bahramji, an album with Jean Von Baden,  collaborations with Fuat Talay and many other projects, the next natural step for this multi-talented Danish composer, producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist was to make the leap into his very first solo release.

This creation lands under the name ‘Mapusa’, a name likely well known to Goa-goers. Indeed, this release holds as one of its source of inspiration the northern city of Goa in India. It does make perfect sense, as Indian influences are found throughout this 6-track EP.

The fact that this work whose composition, production, playing, recording, mixing and mastering were all managed by a single person, makes the whole thing quite impressive on its own. Furthermore, this work contains an array of sounds and samples recorded during various of his trips to India, and was developed in a total of six countries, including Mashti’s own studio in Copenhagen and his mobile studio in India, Holland, Norway, USA, and Ibiza.

So, how does an album with such nomadic roots can be like? To start with, it definitely makes a very interesting listen. This EP starts with ‘Mapusa’, a track that delivers lively vibes of Qawwali influence, which then are followed by the rather mystical beats of ‘Sun in the Room’. The track ‘Dahraram’ is a great piece on which the Indian influences shine beautifully, perfectly blended with modern electronica. “10.45 to Mumbai” carries the listener into a more upbeat sound, while maintaining the signature Mashti-sound.

More stunning vocals are also found in gorgeous track “Beautiful” (a suiting name for sure), a piece whose lyrics are based in an ancient Shiva mantra, perfectly accompanied with Tabla all along. At last, the heavenly vocals of “The Damn Thing”, also paired with lovely beats of Tabla provide a mellow and rather sublime finish to this album.

Mapusa – EP Teaser

All in all, this makes for a very worthwhile listen that will please for sure Mashti fans and Indian-influenced music lovers. The solo-journey may have arrived a little later, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Mapusa EP is available on iTunes.

Very special thanks to Mashti for providing further information about the creation of this EP.

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