Artist Interview: Feather + Dot Talk Electronic Mantra (Part 1 of 2)

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part interview with Hargo and Sanjay of Feather + Dot. You can also read Part 2, where they share their creative process an passion for adventure.


feather+dotWe are beyond thrilled to introduce LA-based duo Feather + Dot’s latest album Electronic Mantra.

Feather + Dot are known for their electronic mantra music that blends rock with ambient psychedelia. Members Sanjay and Hargo create beautiful and unique original works, bringing minimal electronic beats and classical Indian music together as one. They strive to combine the hypnotic nature of mantra, the primal call of dance music, and the grandeur of rock. The powerful duo have performed around the world, at iconic festivals like Summer Solstice, Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, and India Surf Festival.  Feather + Dot plays to a growing culture that is devouring spirituality, sensuality, electronic music, yoga, and empowerment.

We caught up with Feather + Dot to explore the meaning of Electronic Mantra, learn more about the making of this innovative album, and get to know this vibrant and energetic duo.

What was your inspiration for this album?

This album was born out of the creative process behind our “Guru Ram Das feat. Yogi Bhajan” track that came out last year. We wanted to create something that was mantra based, but could be enjoyed on the yoga mat, in the car, or on the dance floor. We’d been listening to a lot of Radio Head remixes, underground electronic, world music, etc. We decided to pull from this diverse palate of music to create the moods for this album. We love that window of time right before and after sunrise. There’s a magic when you see the sky go from deep blues to burning orange. We wanted Electronic Mantra to take you on that journey with us.

Feather_&_Dot_52 copyWhat makes this album different from the rest of the albums in your catalog?

Electronic Mantra was a departure for us! Prior to this we were in a rock band together, with two other people, touring and playing festivals. We came back from the road, went to Burning Man, and decided to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. Rock albums are mainly guitar and vocal driven, where Electronic Mantra is beat / vocal driven. This record is different because you experience it spiritually and sonically. It’s a sensory experience. Rock music is usually based on the performance, and there’s a physicality that goes with it. Electronic music is about creating moods, textures, and individual sounds that will enhance your experience. We brought the two worlds together.

Can you share a story from the making of this album?

The making Rakhe Rakhanhaar was probably one of the more memorable moments. We were in the studio and could not seem to get it right, it just wasn’t flowing. After throwing out a million ideas, we decided to start from scratch. It was a liberating and scary moment because we’d worked so hard on that version. Suddenly, a flood of new ideas came once had a clean slate, and a few hours later the track was completely finished. As we listened back, we knew this was for a woman to sing, and the performance from Sarab Shakti turned out phenomenal (including turning her into a robot three minutes in). We also felt that the song wanted masculine energy to tie it all together. We’d been listening to South Indian Hindu chants, and we wanted to recreate the ceremonial energy that’s so distinct in that music. It came together immediately. The rhythm picked up and that fire was suddenly ignited at the end of the track.Feather_&_Dot_18 copy

Is there something that your fans would love to know from the making of this album?

We genuinely thought of you the whole time, inside every part and every sound. Don’t be afraid to listen loudly, and with headphones. The beauty and frequencies of Electronic Mantra really comes out at higher volumes.

Are there any special contributors to this album? If so, tell us about them!

Yes! There are are two amazing and special women that were really the icing on the cake of this album. Sarab Shakti sang on Rakhe, and some harmonies on Sat Siri. She’s been featured on over 10 mantra albums over the years with Gurushabad Singh (Sa Re Sa Sa). This was the first time she’d been given a moment to shine in this way, and she nailed it!!

Erin Breech (Mul Mantra / Wahe Jio) came to us through Guru Jagat and the team at RA MA Institute in Venice. Julian, Guru Jagat’s business partner was insistent we work with Erin on some level. After playing a show with her, and hearing her voice, it was a done deal. We knew she would be perfect for Mul Mantra. She brought this sensual and graceful quality to every part she sang. We had a blast in the studio together as well! More to come from her, we have no doubt.

You can learn more about Feather + Dot in Part 2 of our interview.

Check out Feather + Dot’s single featuring Yogi Bhajan, including a kriya he taught when he was gifted the Guru Ram Das mantra.

 


 

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