Halo Manash – Se Its En CD Aural Hypnox 2014
This CD is not a new album for Halo Manash, rather is the release of their super limited debut album from 2003 which was issued in an edition of only 100 copies. Accordingly the liner notes associated with the original version provides useful context: “Se Its En is an album dedicated to seven specific dreams I saw between November 2002 and February 2003. Basically every track is an individual separate part, but when they are listened in a given order they form entirety – A guide to transformation, to dynamic wholeness. Se Its En perfects the whole”.
Noting the central focus of later Halo Manash albums is a reliance on played instruments and ritual percussive implements, this debut differs in that organic instrumentation is coupled with a far more prominent droning synthetic base. As such the sound and atmosphere is drive and underpinned by melodious and sustained analogue synthesiser generated notes, where combinations of sparse percussion provides a general sense of structure within selected tracks. Additionally low whispered to garble chanted vocalisations add to the spiritual and ritualised atmosphere. The format of the album follows a reasonably focused and strict format of 7 tracks, equally exactly 7 minutes each, yet with the tracks morphing and interlinking into each other, as with most of Aural Hypnox’s releases, they form singular enveloping album length meditative journeys. Halo Manash have always operated in the regions between dark ambient and ritual ambient, overall ‘Se Its En’ typically leans towards a dark ambient framework, with some ritual ambient elements incorporated for good measure. Yet interestingly it is the fifth composition ‘Ulterior’ with its prominent tribalised percussive drive partially reflects a sound and style of Halo Manash’s latest album ‘Wesieni Wainajat’.
Although that the personal preference of this review leans more heavily towards Halo Manash’s organic ritual ambient style found later albums, ‘Se Its En’ is still a fine debut and demonstration of where the project began and where they have evolved over the course of subsequent albums. Packaging reflects the current Aural Hypnox format of cardboard fold out sleeve, and printed screen printed booklet and inserts.