But with that disclaimer aside, if you’re looking for some otherworldly trance-inducing mind-fuckery, you’re in luck. In a way, what Prince Rama is doing is an extension of the shamanic drum circle ritual, laying out a foundation of hypnotizing rhythmic enchantment, and then sprinkling it with subtle layers of bleeping keyboards and sputtering feedback loops. There are no lyrics, or songs really; instead, the vocals add ethereal atmospherics to the background like painted clouds drifting through the stratosphere past a slowly fading sunset. It makes me think about sitting in the middle of the desert and having a visionary experience in which I finally come to terms with the increasingly complex pathos that our culture of toxic drug abuse and hollow sex obsession has wreaked on my psyche over the years. I need to meditate more and party less. I know cosmic earth mother, I know, but how can I change in the midst of this festering insanity? It’s all so simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
This is the sound you’d almost expect kids raised on a Hare Krishna compound and filtered through art school in Boston to make. When they chant, “Om Shivaya,”they sound like they mean it, and that’s when you know they’re going for more of a religious experience vibe than anything else. And while Shadow Temple might veer into almost “new age music” territory a bit much for me now and again, you’ve got to admire their ambition to uplift and educate rather than confuse and oppress — all without saying a word.