Smooth flow, languid beats, an organic vibe … just when you’re relaxing into this, things sometimes take a noisy and perhaps offensive turn. Never fear with MC Yogi, who combines a background in yoga, meditation, and philosophy with his love for hip-hop and reggae. The Northern Californian (real name Nicholas Giacomini) has been making music as MC Yogi since 2008, and Mantras, Beats & Meditations continues his practice of using a popular music form as a kind of teaching tool, with the MC dropping knowledge on everything from the eight limbs of yoga to the wisdom of Buddha. Tablas, shimmering loops of keyboard notes, crisp snares, and Giacomini’s scruffy vocals (along with appealing guest appearances on tracks like “Heart Sutra”) create music that's both hip-shaking and chill-inducing. Beatboxes and cellos mix beautifully, and exotic spice from instruments like harmonium and the esraj (slightly similar to a sitar) are elegantly woven in. The mesmerizing chanting on “Prayer Wheel” and the opening “Introduction” is lovely, while the hip-hop energy, organs, and lively horns of “A.U.M.” ignite into infectious dance-floor fuel. Yes, “Yoga Breakdance” is also a foot-mover: turntablism and esraj make fine bedfellows. Namaste, y’all.
14 SONGS, 51 MINUTES
APRIL 1, 2014
℗ 2014 MC YOGI MUSIC, UNDER EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO SOUNDS TRUE