‘Mantra No. 9’, the debut single from Fliptrix’s ninth album of the same name, dropped on the ninth day of the ninth month, 2022. It is the ninth track on the project and is composed of nine letters. “Nine is the highest number before you go back to one’s and zero’s”, he explains.
It’s a big moment, marking both the culmination of the original nine projects he set out to release 16 years ago (why? Because Bob Marley blew up on his ninth album), as well as the beginning of a new creative epoch for the High Focus MD. Now residing deep in the Portuguese mountains, Fliptrix has finally escaped the matrix he lamented on earlier releases.
“I remember even noticing that weird synchronicities were happening. Like there would be 90 comments or 999 likes when I checked the posts. It’s deep how the universe works, I just try to work with it”
It’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of cosmic justice in Fliptrix’s newfound solitude. Having made it through the (Third) Eye of the Storm, along the Road to the Interdimensional Piff Highway and Out the Box, Fliptrix sounds a lot freer on this latest release. Soundscapes full of open-ended synths and an emphasis on clarity span the full horizon as Fliptrix’s lyrics place himself as an outsider looking in. It is a strong contrast to the industrial tendencies of previous release Lightwork, which firmly roots itself within the maelstrom of modern society.
“The album was all recorded out in Portugal, by myself, sitting down on a chair in my studio. I did build a booth in the corner but I felt more comfortable sitting down on a chair by myself”
With a focus on classic hooks and featuring original collaborators Verb T and Onoe Caponoe, in many ways Mantra No. 9 returns to the roots established on Fliptrix’s debut release Force Fed Imagery. Released at a similarly pivotal moment in which he was first articulating his identity within the scene, it is no coincidence that both projects have 18 tracks. However, it is the third LP Third Eye of the Storm that marked a self-proclaimed spiritual awakening. Both the internal artwork and the track listing for the project pan from the ‘Frontline Terror’ of 9-5 life to the ‘Paradise’ that Fliptrix has been searching for. Now, all these years later, he’s finally found it.
“The music is definitely a reflection of the environment which I’m in. Now, I’m living in Portugal, I’m living off-grid, I’m living off the land. I’m surrounded by the mountains, all of my water comes from a well, all of my heating comes from a fire, all of my electricity comes from solar panels, most of my food comes from the land. This is a place I’ve always wanted to be in”
So, what’s left? Is music still ‘Just For Fun’ like back in ’07?
“It’s still just for fun but it’s got deeper than that. I would say it’s for the love… Y’know I’m a full-time solo artist, part of The Four Owls, Dad, I’ve got a horse, I’ve got a pony, I’ve got three dogs, I’ve got four cats, I’ve got mad trees to look after. I crazy I don’t know how I do it! But I guess this is my journey in life and that’s why I’m in this role”.
And, with that, I let Fliptrix return to his horse, pony, three dogs and four ca- wait a minute… A horse, a pony, three dogs, four cats, that’s nine animals! Synchronicity.
Mantra No. 9 is the kind of album that makes me want to start a homestead and toil on a different kind of hoe. Cop your 40 acres here.