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Yatha Sidhra - A Meditation Mass CD (album) cover


Yatha Sidhra



3.98 | 127 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars On paper it looks a bit goofy: both the mystical name of the group and the title of their first and only LP. Add some lavish Tibetan mandala artwork and the result is a pastel-colored memory of hippie-dippy consciousness, inspired (of course) by all things Eastern, and no doubt by some of the milder drugs available at the time.

But the flashback it presents is so vivid that even someone like me, otherwise immune to the smell of incense, can easily respond to the album's dreamy psychedelic aura. And the music itself is simply, almost unbelievably beautiful. This isn't the aimless tripping of many a counterculture jam, but an organic flowering of Higher Purpose, and you see already how it affects my prose.

Despite all the Indian flutes and bongos the album is more German than you might imagine. There's a subtle structure to the whole opus, divided into four discrete sections but flowing together into one unbroken 40-minute hymn, building slowly but with disarming intensity before resolving itself in a final reprise of the wistful opening melody.

Most of it is arranged around a fragile, melancholy little theme: imagine a pastoral variation of PINK FLOYD's "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", embellished with ghostly devotional vocals and some lovely flute arabesques. But I had to laugh out loud when the lava lamp mantra framing the album turned into the jazzy lounge vibe of Parts II and III, the latter adding electric guitar and approaching the blues-rock territory of early JETHRO TULL, but on an interstellar trajectory.

Better informed listeners can fill you in on the back-story: how a conventional hard-rocking band named Brontosaurus caught the attention of producer Achim Reichel with an atypically blissful concert encore, and was encouraged to adopt a pseudonym before recording the new music. The album was a stand-alone project never meant to be repeated, but don't completely dismiss it as a minor Krautrock novelty. Beyond the obvious time capsule appeal of its Aquarian Age idealism is an only slightly dog-eared musical road map for a journey still worth taking.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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