Maneki Neko | Auracle

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New Age: Ambient New Age: Relaxation Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Auracle

by Maneki Neko

Music with depth and purpose; music that invites the mind and body to slow down and relax in its ambient textures.
Genre: New Age: Ambient
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Miroku
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4:33 $0.99
2. Daybreak
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20:39 $0.99
3. Cats Sleeping on Clouds
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15:04 $0.99
4. Drifting Between Stars
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15:02 $0.99
5. The Road to Madurai
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4:49 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Maneki Neko is composer, soundscape artist, and recording engineer Al Mikula. Based in Austin, Texas, Maneki Neko crafts electro-acoustic ambient music for relaxation, meditation, and the healing arts.

Mixing influences from his travels, Al debuts his own music as Maneki Neko on his new CD, "Auracle." Maneki Neko takes a chilled out vibe, layers it with gently rolling hints of melody, and grounds it in deep, satisfying, resonant beds. The result is music with depth and purpose, music that invites the mind and body to slow down and relax in its ambient textures. The five compositions on "Auracle" combine traditional instruments and melodic structures from cultures with long-standing meditative traditions to build soundscapes that aid the 21st century meditator on a relaxing inner journey.

Steven Parente, Producer of The SmilingEar.com, describes "Auracle" as "...narcotic body-numbing vibrations and layers of electronic space sounds that allow the mind to drift into other realms."

Al sums up the philosophy of Maneki Neko's music, "Sound is a core element in almost all meditative traditions. Sound can really change the way we feel - our heart rate, brain waves, and muscle tension. With my music I try to blend the musical traditions I experienced around the world with ambient sounds that let listeners relax or explore through meditation."

“…The sound design is exquisite and allows for sharp focus with free-form expression. This is an excellent CD from a newcomer to the community. It approaches, achieves and supersedes greatness…”
Jim Brenholts “Awareness Magazine”

“…Drawing from various world styles with ethereal keyboard work and deft brush strokes of pan flute and Tibetan bells, this sort of relaxing soundscape is a perfect accompaniment to unwind from a stress-filled world.”
Music Morsels

“…With titles like "Cats Sleeping on Clouds" and "Drifting Between Stars," Neko's music promises much -- and delivers on it all…The sounds are luxuriously layered, with bell chimes, pipes, soft percussive taps, and plenty of smooth-as-silk electronics.”
Todd Beemis, “Indie-Music.com”

“Auracle is meditation music at it's grandest…There's something about this music that goes beyond words…”
Ron Rudin, “Innerchange Magazine”

“What a lovely piece of work. I have been listening to this CD at every free moment, this week & introduced several friends to it, as well.”
Capt. Christopher, Director “Cheezmuzik” WTUL 91.5FM New Orleans


Reviews


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Richard Gurtler

Maneki Neko is one of the best kept secrets on the scene, a virtuoso sonic medit
Maneki Neko's "Auracle" album was released longer time ago, in the summer of 2005 on Stray Pointer Records, which, I believe, is a label of Al Mikula, the sole protagonist of Maneki Neko. Based in Austin, Texas, Al Mikula is a sculptor of soothing electro-acoustic blankets for yoga, relaxation, meditation, and massage therapy. To be honest, I have never heard of this release and artist until my good friend Karel aka Sonic-Hypnosis pointed me to this crafted sonic healer (Díky, Karle!!!). "Auracle" is Maneki Neko's debut and I was immediately impressed by its excerpts. And the album only proves this, "Auracle" is a great revelation for my ears!!! Equipped with array of acoustic instruments such as Tibetan prayer bells, Egyptian ney, gongs, Japanese shakuhachi, wind chimes..., Maneki Neko masterfully bridges deeply contemplative acoustic sounds with sparse, but expansive drones and gentle natural splashes. "Miroku" unfolds with meditative bells, soon followed by low drone circles and stunningly expressive Egyptian ney flute magics. Celestial choir-like drones come into play later, while sparkling instrumental work steps in and out. "Daybreak", the longest reverie, clocking over 20 and half minute mark, is announced by flute roars, sporadic fragile bells (tinkling every 60 seconds) and heartwarming panoramic washes, richly spacious and softly cascading up and down. Here and there flavored by tranquilizing organic embellishments. The gates of sonic paradise are fully opened and the listener enters the realm of beautifully floating contemplation and stillness!!! Soaring wind, gentle bell and vague chimes lead the next composition, "Cats Sleeping On Clouds". But soon the drones and shakuhachi wizardry steal the journey. Flute barks and resonations attractively amalgamate with peacefully meandering and hovering drifts. The sounds of shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, are absolutely magnificent!!! This is Maneki Neko at its most distinctive and harmonious!!! "Drifting Between Stars" is more otherworldly and mysterious composition with gracefully floating, evolving and shimmering dronefields, intensified by few wide-screen dissonances, again strongly embracing. "The Road To Madurai" is a pilgrimage to the ancient temple city of Madurai in South India, to famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. Another flute excellence, merged with deeper drones, closes this journey, again mysteriously fragranced, this time with overtone chanting-infused vibrations. "Auracle" is a brilliantly accomplished album with distinguishably immersing arrangements, that for sure will appeal to all connoisseurs of deeply meditative ambience. To me, Maneki Neko is one of the best kept secrets on the scene, a virtuoso sonic meditator!!! I should add that Maneki Neko's next album, entitled "Muichi Motsu" was scheduled for release during autumn 2012, it was mastered already, but unfortunately since September there are no news nor updates on Maneki Neko's website. I pray for the return of Al Mikula/Maneki Neko...

Richard Gürtler (May 19, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Jer Olsen, MusicBootCamp.com

Worth every penny!
The recording is top notch. I can easily get bored with generic sounding relaxation, meditative or new age recordings. I guess the point is to let go, but I like my emotive trips in my mind to be accompanied by a substantive soundtrack. This is clearly that kind of CD (i.e. the kind I like). I can either meditate with this music or listen to it and still feel I'm being stimulated intellectually. The organic lead instrumentation has a lot to do with this. The recording is obviously not some quickly thrown together idea to capitalize on the related scene, but rather a sincere effort on the part of the artist to do something really special. My only complaint is that it was too short! :)