Review Summary: A dark, deep, hypnotic ritual, strongly influenced by drum'n'bass and techno variations.
Blot Heathen offers us a very varied album, which attempts to combine very different genres and sounds, in a research lasting years, which starts from the artist's decennial experience in the world of raves, free parties, and underground electronic music, mixing it, in a very effective way, with world music, with tribal rhythms of drums and shakers that are the leitmotif for the whole album together with polyphonic singing, throat singing, and some instruments such as various Tibetan bells, large steel or out of tune instruments that enrich the theme of the album: the ritual.
On the other hand, all the albums by Orlando Li Mandri, stage name Blot Heathen, have always had to do with the concept of ritual, of shamanic experience.
In this album he wanted to go to the limit, mixing very different sounds, to create music that can be used for a more modern shamanic journey, a thought born above all from the experiences of the world of rave parties. The rave party as a shamanic rite, a source of illumination, of sharing.
Thus Techno-Shaman presents itself as a polymorphic LP, with a good alternation between the pounding and repetitive rhythms of techno, and the biting and powerful basses of drum'n'bass, all accompanied by the organic sounds of percussion and singing.
This mix creates a sound hybrid in which the goal is to have danceable, hypnotic music that does not appear to be made solely in a digital way, giving that sense of "fake", but instead with a very real, acoustic, and organic sound.
In short, it seems to be catapulted to a rave, but a few thousand years ago.
Listening to it, it often reminded me of the world music of the legendary grammy awards Deep Forest, but with a much darker tone and more pressing rhythms, an aggressive and pounding sound. Not surprisingly, the artist in an interview spoke of Deep Forest as a source of inspiration for his music, as well as other great artists such as Heilung and Massive Attack.
In particular, some songs are more associated with a sub-genre than others. Funeral, Hypnosis, and Wolf-Shaman are certainly the tracks most influenced by techno, with a continuous, repetitive, and hypnotic rhythm, which is very reminiscent of the continuous sound of the shamanic drum.
Other songs, among which Deep Forest and Temple stand out, were instead clearly influenced by the world of bass music, in particular drum'n'bass and halfstep, with less regular rhythms, and the basses that form the basis for the whole piece.
Finally, other tracks such as Techno-Shaman and Distorted Reality maintain a more ambient/ritual style, with a slower pace and with greater attention to the atmosphere that forms and transforms throughout the track.
An album to dance to, an album to listen to, an album to get high, an album to meditate on. A polymorphic album with great potential.