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Dutch-based trio Mansur create an intoxicating sound which fuses ethereal vocal chanting, haunting melodies played on an oud, and crunchy, post-industrial electronics. Featuring former members of Phurpa and the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Mansur formed in 2019 and has since released four recordings, including 2022's Oscuras Flores. Jason Köhnen has been involved with countless metal, electronic, and experimental projects since he began making music in the late 1980s. Under his main solo alias, Bong-Ra, he is one of breakcore's most notable artists, and he is particularly known for pioneering raggacore, a more extreme variant on ragga-jungle, around the turn of the century. However, he gained a much different audience following the formation of the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble as well as its improvisational alter ego, the Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, which largely shared the same members. Both acts produced a cinematic blend of atmospheric jazz, dark ambient, and downtempo, helping to define the Angelo Badalamenti-inspired dark jazz subgenre. Gaining a significant cult following, limited pressings of the groups' releases on labels like Planet Mu, Ad Noiseam, and Denovali sold out quickly. By the mid-2010s, however, both acts had retired, and its members continued with other projects. Köhnen fused dark jazz and Arabic music under his solo alias the Thing with Five Eyes. Mansur came together in 2019, consisting of Köhnen, oud player Dimitry El-Demerdashi (ex-Phurpa), and Hungarian vocalist Martina Horváth (formerly of metal band Niburta and frequent collaborator of Thy Catafalque). The trio signed to Denovali and released their debut EP, Temple, and first studio full-length, Karma, in 2020. An improvised live recording, Minotaurus, followed in 2021. Additionally, Horváth and Köhnen formed a post-metal group, the Answer Lies in the Black Void, and released their debut album, Forlorn. Köhnen also continued making occult-themed dark jazz under another solo alias, the Lovecraft Sextet. Mansur's fourth release, Oscuras Flores, appeared in 2022.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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