Happy Meals – Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony Volumes IV - VI

Album Review by Megan Wallace | 21 Jun 2017
Album title: Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony Volumes IV - VI
Artist: Happy Meals
Label: So Low
Release date: 23 Jun

The newest release from Glasgow-based duet Happy Meals is full of surprises. Gone is the infectious synth pop of their 2014 debut Apéro, which now finds itself replaced by something less tangible and a whole lot more spiritual.

As the first release from Optimo Music’s offshoot So Low, and given the renown of Optimo’s DJ appearances, you might be expecting a dance-floor focussed record. However, with first track 432hz Resonant Activation Tone composing of a seven minute drone, those expectations will clearly miss the mark.

The second, May You Be The Mother – May You Be The Sun, gets us back to more familiar ground, with quick, feather-light beats combine with ripples of sound for something closer resembling a traditional dance track. However, the ethereal vocals which layer over the highly textured piece, maintain the spiritual focus established from the off. Full Ashram Emerging Scene comprises subtle, slow beats, while intertwining distorted sounds make up Every Moment Is a Birth. The last song, like the first, is the continuous sounding of a single note.

Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony Volumes IV – VI is a courageous release, one which blurs the boundaries of what we consider ‘music’ and 'noise'. Given its more conceptual nature it’s advisable to listen to Full Ashram... in one continuous sitting, as the individual tracks don’t necessarily work on a stand-alone basis, and while you have to admire Happy Meals’ ambition, this record isn’t exactly easy-listening and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

However, by (very loosely) tapping into notions of meditative practices, Happy Meals urge us to take the time to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, despite the hectic world we live in. 

https://happy-meals.bandcamp.com/music https://www.facebook.com/hahahappymeals/