Just when you thought pop music had got a bit too sensible, a bit too clean and tidy, a bit too safe, then maverick spirits collide and create something as devilish and delicious as you would have hoped and prayed for… That something is Mantra of The Cosmos; the new supergroup comprising some of the most influential British artists of the last 30 years.
Made up of Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays, Black Grape), Zak Starkey (The Who, Oasis), Andy Bell (Oasis, Ride) and Bez (Happy Mondays, Black Grape), Mantra Of The Cosmos is more supernova than a supergroup, but it’s a musical marriage that works. Their first-ever sonic offering, ‘Gorilla Guerilla’, is unveiled today, following an intimate yet raucous live debut last night at London’s The Box. The next time they play together will be in the altogether different setting of Glastonbury Festival, where they are set to headline the Glade Stage on Sunday.
Debut single ‘Gorilla Guerilla,’ which is out now accompanied by an animated video directed by Shaun’s son Olli Ryder, is described by Zak as “a fantastic psychedelic groove from a band of misfits, outsiders and innovators,” whilst Shaun adds: “It’s a fucking blast mate!! It’s great when we’re not all irate.”
Speaking on the project, Andy says: “It’s a pleasure to be part of Mantra of the Cosmos. Four like minded souls who get off on the same music.”
Watch the video for ‘Gorilla Guerilla’ – BELOW:
Mantra of The Cosmos is the brainchild of Zak Starkey, a rare case of a musical youth transcending his fabled father to carve out his own space. Not content to be the hotshot drummer providing the rhythmic pulse for Oasis and The Who, he’s also deeply immersed in reggae through his Trojan Jamaica label, which saw him and his wife Sharna “Sshh” Starkey (who also co-produced the new music alongside Zak) win a Grammy for their production work on Toots and The Maytals’ final album Got To Be Tough. This newly assembled group are here to shake up the foundations of modern pop music, a dubby, electronic, 21st-century Hawkwind of a band destined to be experienced through epic live performances.
First on Zak’s hitlist was acerbic Salford poet laureate of the dispossessed and beloved ringleader of the most unlikely group of ruffians to ram raid the Top30, Happy Mondays’ frontman Shaun Ryder, joined of course by long-term bandmate and vibe master general Bez with his trademark maracas, rhythm and grooves. He then called on former Oasis bandmate and Ride frontman Andy Bell, who brings a heavy slice of hypnotic musicality on the guitar, joining Zak, Sshh and Shaun on the writing credits. The result is this leering, lurching and surprisingly deft pop music with a swing of its own that is at once joyful, playful and triumphant, all with its own innate eccentric vision. It’s a weird yet wonderful alchemy that has a heavy psychedelic psychotic reaction from deep within an undiscovered galaxy.
Cooked up in a remote studio littered with pop culture reference points pinned to the wall, Mantra of the Cosmos are the hum of the universe and the pulsating perfect musical pathway to the beyond…
“I always knew the best was yet to come” – Bez.
MANTRA OF THE COSMOS HEADLINE THE GLADE STAGE AT GLASTONBURY
@ 8.20PM ON SUNDAY