I start writing on December 13, 22:17 GMT+1. I’m sitting on a bunk bed in a small four-person room in a hostel in Italy. I listened to the album for the first time. After experiencing a musical euphoria, I watch the sentences take shape at my fingertips. Soon I’ll listen to it for the second time and then hopefully for the hundredth, thousandth, hundred thousandth time…
I think about what has changed in my life in the last two years. I remember walking up and down the stairs of the office where I was working at the time several times in excitement while listening to Antroposen 001 and trying to behave in a normal way despite the euphoric feelings inside me. That day I brought my personal computer to work and wrote the article titled A mark to “human age” by maNga: Antroposen.
I resigned from my job, started my master’s degree. I went to Erasmus, I went abroad for the first time in my life, I realized exactly what I wanted in life for the first time… At the age of 26… At this stage of my life, as it has been for 13 years, maNga songs are in the background.
So how did Antroposen 002 make me feel?
On the cover of 001, the band members are sitting on the head of a half-submerged doll, lying down with various objects next to them, all looking at the sky or the horizon, not at the camera.
On the cover of 002, the doll’s head is in the desert. The arid land is cracked, even broken at the corners. The band members no longer have things, except for the TV in Ferman’s hand; they are looking at the camera, except Yağmur, who is looking at the ground.
In the previous article, I interpreted the baby’s head as our world. If we go through the same metaphor, we can say that the cover of 002 is a post-apocalyptic scene. Children were not taken care of and the world was destroyed. The waters have dried up. Things disappeared along with the civilizations they represented. The television left behind is a record of the destruction. maNga wants to show this record.
In a post-apocalyptic world, the band members look into the eyes of the audience as if to wake them up. “This is how everything was destroyed,” as if they say, reminding those who survived but suffer from forgetfulness.
It’s 22.45 and I start listening to the album for the second time.
I felt like I was interacting with the depths of another person’s mind, communicating in another dimension. It was like listening and telling at the same time.
There is a 1-2 second melody at the beginning of this opening track. It’s like the opening of a news bulletin or a program. A melody that says “I’m going to tell you something, listen carefully!” Then, you know how music plays in the background of important scenes in movies and focuses you… Through this music, amplified by the bass guitar, we hear rising and falling melodies, echoing whispers repeating a few words, children’s voices. Like the remnants of a life that once existed or the ghosts of voices.
The intro of 001 was the Holosen. Holosen (The Holocene) refers to the new geological epoch we have been living in for the last 12 thousand years. The Anthropocene is the human era that we started in the Holocene. The point at which the weight of man-made objects exceeds the weight of all other living things on earth. The point where we put our weight on the earth. And Antroposen is the opening piece that starts 002.
The mood of the track also reminded me of the first album. You know, maNga’s first album 19 years ago. Anyway, this album returns to that hard rock sound. Although there were hard sounds in 001 as well, but they dominate this album in general.
Then the intro ends with the electric guitar.
The song starts with a clean solo and the cry “Dünya…” (“Earth” or “world”), as if the song is about the state of the world with the language of a lover whose instrument has broken down. The phrases in the chorus remind us of the style of the heart tradition that is the leaven of Anatolia, from Rumi to Neşet Ertaş.
Especially in the first stanza “Mezarlar yükseldi,” (“Graves are risen,”), the first thing that came to my mind was the February 6, 2023 Kahramanmaraş Earthquake. The night we lost 50,783 lives, officially 50,783, but in reality thousands of lives unknown, not because of the shaking of the earth, but because of the negligence of people. The night the graves rose. May Allah never let it happen again.
In the stanza that begins with “Kapılar açıldı,” (“The gates opened,”), my mind went straight to the pandemic period. Even if we were not born at the end of the world, they instilled such fear that they made us believe that we had come to the end of the world. We thought nothing would ever be the same again.
Both poems and lyrics are timeless and spaceless. They can adapt to many projections of the world. Lines written 100 years ago on another continent can describe an event that happened here today. Who knows where these fresh lyrics will translate the feelings of who and where else?
There is a guitar solo that makes itself felt throughout the song and I love it.
This is where maNga starts to go deep into human nature.
There is a name named Aleksandr Skryabin among the songwriters. Who is this Aleksandr Skryabin? Russian composer and pianist, says the search engine, who lived somewhere between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was interested in musical symbolism and synesthesia and attributed colors to harmonic tones. An innovative and unusual person. He says:
“I am a moment illuminating eternity. I am affirmation. I am ecstasy.”Aleksandr Skryabin
There are teachings that describe the human being as the nucleus of the universe. From esoteric paths to major religions, they all emphasize the importance of the human being. At the same time, there is a very animalistic and even demonic side to man. Angel, devil, animal… They are all gathered in man. It is the will of the human being that determines which of his potentials he will bring out.
The quote above, inspired by this complex nature of human beings, has been enriched by Ferman’s pen and transformed into a powerful song through maNga’s musical machine. It is both an analysis and a challenge.
After the tight guitars and drums playing like crazy, we rest in this short instrumental song. The ney lifts us up to the sky, away from the chaotic storm of the world. As we breathe in the tranquility of the Ney, faint bells are heard in the distance towards the last seconds. Now we will go down to the arena again. For whom are the bells ringing?
6000 YEARS AGO
That’s exactly what happened, the storm of music that the bells announced has begun. We continue with a bang.
The album gives its strongest and clearest message in this song. In this song, where Edgar Allan Poe’s words are the guests, maNga hits the arrogance of modern man in the face. You’ve developed so much technology, you’re so good at bragging about yourself, so why all the dust?
This song, which glorifies wisdom, concludes the album’s lyrics by announcing in the last verse when the apocalypse will happen, how and when the waters on the cover of 001 will dry up. A great finale.
“Time was up when the wiseman died 6000 years ago”maNga – 6000 Years Ago
At the end of the song, a keyboard sound like a lament is heard and there is applause in the background. A meaningful contrast, people applauding while the world is ending.
Let spaceships be ready! At the end of 001, we saw the planet from afar with Blue Dot. At the end of 002, we go up to space. We leave the world for now, which became cyberpunk and lost its soul in 001 and went through an apocalypse and entered the post-apocalyptic era in 002, but fear not, that soul is always hidden in maNga’s music. The album ends with this Anatolian Rock-inspired opening track with electric baglama and synthesizers.
At 00.28 GMT+1, December 14th, this article ends and I’m going to listen to the album again.