Saturday 19 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Mann up

Mann up

The tribe has spoken: One former Uglysuit member abandons Western pop for more global influences as ambient act Mannachine.

Stephen Carradini February 21st, 2011

10 p.m. Saturday
Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company, 50 Penn Place, 840-1911


Jonny Martin intends to confuse you.

“I might be crashing some heads. I might be molding some brains,” said the Oklahoma City-based Martin, who records under the name Mannachine. “I want people to leave saying, ‘What is this? What is going on?’”

Intrigued listeners can get a taste of his down-tempo, ambient pieces Saturday when he simultaneously releases the free “Shiva, the Destroyer EP” online and performs a release show at Belle Isle Brewery. Norman electronic jam band Montu will support.

Martin, a member of now-defunct local act The Uglysuit, carried very little of his former band’s enthusiastic, positive sound over to his solo project.

“It tinges to a dark, ambient place. It’s very opposite of, a contrast to, The Uglysuit,” he said.

Instead of drawing on Western pop music, he looked to Middle Eastern, African and Bollywood musicians such Amadou & Mariam and Lata Mangeshkar for inspiration. He sought to strip away the excess of music and get down to a “tribal” sound.

“I really wanted to write an album that connected to that universal heartbeat,” Martin said. “It’s very emotional music, but it’s an emotion that you really can’t get in a lot of other music. Not the emotion I’m going for, anyway. I’d even describe it as animalistic.”

The emotion underscores the content and title of “Shiva, the Destroyer.”

“It’s a concept album about destruction of ego. There’s a drawback of vocals and lyrics and getting to that heartbeat, that tribal, animalistic feel,” Martin said. “It’s a very deep album for me.”

But it’s not just the sound that he feels will be different. The heavy rhythmic aspect to the tunes will be amplified in live shows that Mannachine plays with a full band, as Western and African percussion will be layered over the electronic music.

Martin also will play solo sets of the material, but he doesn’t want to be called a DJ.

“I’m not gonna consider myself a DJ, but hopefully, it will blend over with those crowds,” he said.

Whether with a band or solo, Mannachine isn’t merely notes and rhythms.

“Mannachine is going to be a visual undertaking, as well as a musical one. I want to touch as many senses as possible,” Martin said. “I want it to be visually stunning, as well as audibly stunning. I don’t want any aspect to take over any other aspect of it.”

The CD release will be memorable for its sensory overload, he promises.

“The smoke machine and light show will be something else, and the sheer mass of percussion synced with the lights,” Martin said. “I don’t plan on doing a lot of local shows, so when I do, I want them to be an event.”

He has plans for regional tours, as well as production of a full album this summer. Until then, Mannachine has two singles online at the mechanical “Silken Tongues” and a slowed-down cover of Local Natives’ “Sun Hands.”

Both are free downloads, and a teaser of just a small bit of something that’s just a taste of what Mannachine can do.

“This is a starter to get my sound out,” Martin said. “I wanted to hone in on the sound that I want to make for the rest of the time." —Stephen Carradini

photo/Doug Schwarz

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