S.E.V.A. S.E.V.A.

[Mush; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: underground hip-hop, jazz hip-hop, instrumental
Others: Mumbles, Gone Beyond, Aceyalone, your spiritual advisor

It's never a good sign if your group name is an acronym. It's an even worse sign if the acronym stands for something concerning the progression of humanity. S.E.V.A., the production team of Mumbles and Gone Beyond, stands for Spirit Evolves Via Awareness. Regardless of the groans this acronym may incite, we're dealing with some good music here.

Many will remember Mumbles from his work on Aceyalone's underground classic, A Book of Human Language. That album seems like ages ago, don't it? Of course it does. What has Mumbles been doing in the meantime, you ask? Well, he's been honing in on his spirituality of course. Mumbles was fortunate enough to find a like-minded musical and spiritual companion in Gone Beyond. The two producers set out to infuse their debut album with enough spiritual upliftment and inspiration to have underground hip-hop fans heading East in no time.

Though the possibility of changing the ways and beliefs of their audience is rather far-fetched, the music present on S.E.V.A. is capable of settling down any raucous mood the audience may be caught up in. It will certainly subdue your party and have heads relaxed in no time. Wind instruments have been known to have such an effect. Organic, live-sounding drums punctuate every song. Four discourses on enlightenment and illumination are provided by apparently notable figures. These are the only four examples of vocals on the album -- they act as pillars, if nothing else.

The entire album is quite pleasant. A good before-bedtime listen, without a doubt. The sounds are reminiscent of Lulu Mushi's song "I Dream (Tranquility)" from the original Mush compilation, Ropeladder 12. "Tranquil" is a more than appropriate word to apply to S.E.V.A. Mumbles and Gone Beyond have created an album that may not have you feeling spiritually-fulfilled, but it'll surely have your muscles less tense than when your day began.

1. Spirit Evolution
2. Event Horizon
3. Suspended Animation
4. In the Tiger's Mouth
5. The Eternal Self-Knowledge
6. Stonehenge
7. The Tides of Titan
8. Sun Shining/Eclipsed
9. Love & Devotion
10. Collective Thoughts
11. Soul Surgery
12. Awareness Is Openness