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MANSUR - Temple

Jason Köhnen appears to be one of those musicians who accumulate projects like other people are collecting stamps.

Wait. Do people still collect stamps? Are there even still stamps you don't print out yourself? I guess we'll never know.

Köhnen however has just released "Temple", an EP which introduces us to Mansur, a spiritual continuation of his works with The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Thing With Five Eyes, yet with a slightly different premise. 

MANSUR - Temple (clear red vinyl) (2020)

Mansur again presents a mixture of electronics and a wide array of Eurasian world music influences, but the instrumentation is much more ethnic than on Köhnen's past projects, where he mostly used Western classical and rock intstruments and also relied on samples for a global scope, like very heavily on Bong-Ra's "Antediluvian".

Köhnen is aided by ex-Phurpa member Dimitry El-Demerdashi on oud (an Arabic short-necked proto-guitar) and folkloristic singer Martina Horváth. And besides double bass he himself adds a whole Genghis Khan Mongol Empire Big Band of flutes, percussions and traditional string instruments from the Persian, Indian and Far Eastern spheres to the sound of Mansur.

The result, while elevating and transcendent, radiates a deep familiarity, which for a good part is probably rooted in the diffuse intuition that you're listening to something primal and ancient more than anything else.

If these five tracks are an indication of what's to come on the full album (to be releases in the not too far future), it doesn't make much sense to put the "doomjazz" label on Mansur, because this music much more tends to experimental, but very accessible ethnic fusion.      

Especially with all the spike fiddle, lute and flute sounds "Temple" feels like a mixture of Saba Alizadeh's "Scattered Memories" and the neofolk of The Moon And The Nightspirit in Chinese exile.

It's intriguing.

While quality EPs  always provoke the obvious critique of being too short, I must admit that Mansur doesn't give me that particular feeling, because the journey I'm taken on is so vast that it seems almost implausible that it only took a total of twenty-four minutes.

"Temple is available on red (if you can still get your hands on it, that is) and black vinyl, as well as on CD.

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