DIVISION, THE: Mantras: CD

When I was in college, my friends and I used to get together on Sunday nights and have tea and sit and listen to Hearts of Space, an ambient radio show on NPR. Hippies maybe, but it was always a relaxing, mellow way to end the weekend while also listening to some creative, droney, space music. It seems as though Mantras could easily fit in with that type of crowd. The Division is the one-man act of Chicago musician Matthew Schultz who has done time in both Lab Report and Pigface. Eight of the nine songs on this album clock in at exactly six minutes and two seconds; the last track is exactly six minutes. Given the background of the artist, one might expect a little more aggressive, abrasive sound but, instead, the music has an ambient tone that also utilizes some tribal beats and, more importantly, a number of instruments and styles of playing most identifiable from other cultures. In Indian religions mantras are deemed able to produce spiritual transformation. I don’t know if that was Schultz’s intention, but given the right setting (dark room, comfortable seat, a cup of tea, some incense), the tracks on Mantras might very well take you to a different place.

 –kurt (Lens)