Label: Inner Islands
"Universal Compassion" is Steve Targo’s first offering under the name of Nimbudala. A composite of “nimbu” — lemon in English — and “mandala,” Targo says lemons have cleansing properties and can be healthy. “A mandala can represent a spiritual journey. Why I chose to put those two words together I leave for you to decide.”
Targo previously recorded as Inner Travels, establishing a discography of 16 releases under that banner since 2014. He notes on the change, “despite the similarities [between the projects] this is not Inner Travels music. I hear a more communal sound in Nimbudala. The music of Inner Travels came from a more solitary place.” Indeed, it is easy to notice some of the same touchstones in the sound, from the uniquely melodic yet sprawling synthscapes, to the openhearted tone of the compositions. But Nimbudala takes some decidedly different approaches, roping in a wider variety of inspirations from jazz to folk and psychedelia, to Indian classical and beyond. The pieces on "Universal Compassion" utilize an expanded palette of sounds, including flutes, drums, xylophone, kalimba, and singing bowls in addition to Targo’s impressive collection of keyboards and synthesizers. It’s easy to feel this work as having a more collectivist and humanist spirit. Targo reflects, “I have and will always find artistic inspiration in nature, but now I am looking more toward the human spirit and beyond the electronic for sounds that bring peace.”
The album took over four years to complete. On that process, Targo says, “A lot happened in that span of time — personally, spiritually, artistically. A lot of that time was spent simply listening to the music & living with it. These songs demanded careful consideration. I had to help them grow.” And thanks to that long period of maturation, we are gifted with one of Targo’s strongest collections to date and the promise of more sounds on this new path.