Boomkat Product Review:
"‘Etra' is the second LP from Portugese Manuel Carvalho, and can be seen as an extension of the ideas and themes explored on his debut 12” ‘Citadel’ for Paralaxe Editions. Here across 9 tracks Manta breathes life and light into the potentially heavy exploration of the manifestation of the human ego in architecture, and our perceptions of inner/outer space. The weight of such ideas manifests itself in an sound realm where radiophonic interstellar explorations collide head on with a smooth yet brutalist Techno vision.
‘Etra' plays heavily with perceptions of time, plunging the listener into a world of continuously shifting and shuffling timbre and rhythm, inviting and embracing a wandering, disorientated experience, enveloping us deeper and deeper into the dance. There is a sustained human element to ‘Etra', represented by the reoccurring ecstatic samples of breathlessness which pierce these otherwise otherworldly soundscapes.
‘Etra' gradually becomes a very visual experience, the space in the music allowing ample room for the imagination to conjure it’s own sight - a world perhaps where eyes scan a scorched dystopia, pausing briefly on snapshots of remaining life where focus is gained and these snapshots are explored further, a constant inner and outer zoom of the miniatures of individual circumstance and psyche.
Thematically Manta takes his influence largely from J.G. Ballard and Italo Calvino, and does little to hide this admiration. Musically Etra’s influence is derived from three interconnecting stems, creating a dizzy dance where Detroit giants such as Drexciya and Terrence Dixon mingle with Pole and Basic Channel under the all encompassing squashed funk gaze of Moodymann.
Manuel says of the record…“While the previous record focused on emotional semantics of architecture and the extension of their effect on the human psyche, Etra focused on how people imprint their ego and character in their surroundings either by projection or construction, their spatial manifestation if you will. The 9 tracks here are exercises to try to imagine how one would create that manifestation not in space but in time, using sound rather than brick.”