01 - Of Smoke and Spark (9:09, 21.4 MB) 02 - When Last We Saw Light (5:11, 12.1 MB) 03 - The Scent of Water Within the Rock (7:09, 16.7 MB) 04 - A World Beneath the World (15:25, 36.1 MB) 05 - Ever Downward (7:18, 17.1 MB) 06 - Soft Steps in Darkness (8:12, 19.2 MB) 07 - The Cave of the Homunculi (15:36, 36.5 MB) 08 - One Drop of Water Echoes Forever (4:15, 10.0 MB)
In June of 2007 and July/August of 2008, Mike Metlay (of Metlay!, mindSpiral, and Team Metlay) and Darrell Burgan (of Palancar, Copal River, and Cluster Balm) collaborated on a series of long-distance musical explorations, which quickly took on a strong and distinctive character that led them to consider forming a duet project that would stand on its own. After many discussions (some serious, most not so much) they decided upon a delightful metaphor for their musical lives, that of two lab rats who'd been experimented on to the point where they spontaneously reached Nirvana from within their cages. Lab rats turned bodhisattvas: labrathisattva.
Interestingly, this album was recorded in real time, but with the artists nearly a thousand miles apart. A variety of technologies were used to facilitate these long distance jam sessions.
The first collaboration, from June 2007, consisted of Mike performing a solo piece and Darrell adding to it in real time -- Mike couldn't hear what Darrell was doing, and Darrell could only add to Mike's work without changing it. This became the piece "A World Beneath The World".
The second collaboration, from July 2008, reversed the order, with Darrell's solo improvisation serving as a base for Mike's additions, and became "The Cave Of The Homunculi."
The third and last piece of the puzzle was a long improvisational session using the NINJAM audio collaboration software, in August of 2008; recordings of this extensive session were cut apart based on cohesive themes, and six of the best passages became the remainder of this first labrathisattva release.
So we have the two rats in the darkness taking turns leading one another, or venturing cautiously forth together into the grand and ominous world beneath the world. And this album, entitled "The View From Down Here", is the result.
Darrell and Mike plan to continue chronicling the journey of Smoke and Spark, the two enlightened lab rats, in future releases, and it's unclear where they'll take us in their quest for truth, peace, and a good mix of incense and electroshock. But for now, they hope you'll enjoy these subterranean explorations by a pair of unlikely pilgrims, searching for the ultimate sonic truth.
As always, all Earth Mantra releases are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. For commercial use, please contact us.