Friday, April 12, 2024

Mandoki Soulmates Deliver A Memory Of Our Future

Mandoki Soulmates release their second single, ‘The Big Quit’, from upcoming new album A Memory Of Our Future, out worldwide on 10th May via Sony Music’s label InsideOutMusic.

The international and inter-generational supergroup consisting of rock and fusion grandmasters surrounding founder and mastermind Leslie Mandoki’s new single has been described as “a prog rock tour-de-force with a hooky melody that will have you singing along long after the needle has been lifted from the vinyl”. You can check that out for yourselves by watching the official video here at RAMZine, the single itself available digitally.

Mandoki Soulmates features Leslie Mandoki, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Mike Stern, Al di Meola, Randy Brecker, Till Brönner, Bill Evans, John Helliwell (Supertramp), Cory Henry, Richard Bona, Steve Bailey, Simon Phillips (Toto), Tony Carey (Rainbow), Nick van Eede (Cutting Crew), Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp) and Mark Hart (Supertramp) this time round and A Memory Of Our Future is being referred to as “an instant prog-rock classic”, bringing world-class musicianship and composition together with trenchant social and political messaging.

The entire album was recorded and produced purely in the analogue domain, from microphone to mixing and mastering, making A Memory Of Our Future a manifesto of precision and passion that is hard to find in today’s music landscape.

It was recorded and mixed in Mandoki’s Red Rock Studios near Munich, mastered in the infamous Sterling Sound Studios in New York and cut in the Emil Berliner Studios in Berlin, according to Mandoki, the Soulmates are also making a statement as a kind of “revenge of the analog” in times of digital deception, scam bots, and internet trolls. The analogue format is also an expression of their special appreciation and bond with the band’s audience, “like a love letter handwritten with a fountain pen.”

“The hyper-emotionalization of news in social media delivers outrage instead of information, intentionally triggering waves of over-excitement and manufactured conflicts,” Mandoki continued. “Without fact-checking, where can we find the truth among all the alternative facts, lies and AI-generated propaganda? This has yielded a deep crisis of trust that is being exploited by the populists and demagogues of the world. Despite their seemingly obvious fallacies and contradictions, the people in their bubbles actually believe them. Rational, civil discourse rarely takes place, and without the sensible exchange of ideas we are left with a festering breeding ground for insecurity, hate and division.”

The 12 new tracks on A Memory Of Our Future, hangs a beacon of light at the end of the depressing tunnel of today, and remind us that rock music has always sung widely for freedom in peace and for peace in freedom. Those tracks featured are: Tracklist: ‘Blood In The Water’, ‘Enigma Of Reason’, ‘The Wanderer’, ‘The Big Quit’, ‘Devil’s Encyclopedia’, ‘A Memory Of My Future’, ‘I Am Because You Are’, ‘My Share Of Your Life’, ‘Age Of Thought’, ‘Matchbox Racing’, ‘We Stay Loud’ and ‘Melting Pot’.

There will also be a Dolby Atmos album mix, that will be available to stream and buy on 10th May. The mix was done by Bruce Soord, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and frontman for internationally renowned experimental rock outfit The Pineapple Thief. Dolby Atmos is an immersive surround sound format that offers a spatial sound experience that has so far mainly been used in cinemas. When done well, Dolby Atmos allows music to be reproduced with unparalleled clarity and depth.

The single has been described as an anthem for resilience in the face of a shark tank’s-worth of daunting challenges. It encourages those who dare to resist conformity and courageously to look ahead; it issues a call to be different and join a movement of resistance.

Mandoki Soulmates previously released the single and video, ‘Blood In The Water’ that features virtuosic solos from Ian Anderson’s inimitable flute and Cory Henry’s searing Hammond organ, with a powerful lyrical message is delivered with insistent passion from vocalists Leslie Mandoki, Nick van Eede (Cutting Crew), Tony Carey, and Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp).

The song reflects Mandoki’s vision of building bridges among disparate groups using progressive jazz-rock and incisive lyrics to comment on the social challenges of our time, to inspire the aspirational, pointing toward a utopia for realists.

Reflecting with some chagrin, Mandoki stated, “The dreams of my generation lie in ruins today. After 1989, we had such a wonderful, historic opportunity to create a mindful, humane, peaceful, and absolutely free world for future generations. But we blew it.

“Driven by egotism and greed, we have inadvertently enabled the creation of a world where money itself makes profit faster than human labour, no matter the value-added proposition. This devaluation and commodification of people’s work has also led to the disregard for sustainability, both economically and environmentally, yielding a climate of social imbalance, inequity, and unrest. This division and radicalization, as we have unfortunately and painfully learned, has even led to war. And so, I sing that there is blood in the water. Far too much blood in the water.”

You can listen to the single here and check out the video to ‘Blood In The Water’ here at RAMzine.

Mandoki also commented on the black swan on the album cover, and how it related to the single, stating: ‘“Blood In The Water’ as a song presents our contemporary situation as a labyrinth of crises in a world without a compass, where unifying and stabilizing movements in society have crumbled. The dreaded ‘black swan’ has landed. It sits on our album cover as a symbol of our times, in which reality outstrips our worst fears with previously unimaginable tragic scenarios. We must stay vigilant, as we sing: you better keep an eye open, if you fall asleep.”

A Memory Of Our Future is now available to order and will be available in the following formats: 180g black 2LP wide spined gatefold & extensive 12-page booklet, Ltd. CD Edition pocketpac with noble matt/gloss finishing, vinyl-look disc and extensive 24-page booklet, standard CD jewelcase (US Version) and as a digital album, from here.

After their successful 30 Years Anniversary Tour through Europe, the Soulmates will be performing a special open-air concert in the courtyard of the Munich Residenz on August 15, 2024 and play the new album live. Their only show in Germany this year, you can buy tickets here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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