University Challenged and debut album of multi-sensory glory – ‘Oh Temple!’ is an audio-visual tour-de-force on Hive Mind Records, further evolving the label’s vision – the videos are a must-watch

University Challenged join the Hive Mind stable and take the label’s sound further into psychedelic, entrancing bliss. All of the films accompanying this stand-out release are jaw dropping, with Choppers Over Negril and Shibboleth hitting hard. Overall, Oh Temple! is a varied and awe inspiring work.

University Challenged are Ajay Saggar (“Bhajan Bhoy”), Oli Heffernan (“Ivan The Tolerable”) and Kohhei Matsuda (“Bo Bingen”). The trio began in 2019, playing shows in Holland, where they gained a reputation for delivering highly dynamic shows – ranging from gentle, melodic, orchestral spinouts to epic power jams, all backed by beautiful self-made films in the background.

The plan had always been to record an album and get the collective forces pressed to vinyl, along with the visual experimentation. Many months of hard work have paid off and this eight track double album is available now. Marc Teare, boss at Hive Mind, is building a fertile stable indeed, with more new material to come very soon. Oh Temple! has been eagerly anticipated since Marc spoke about future projects to WTM last year.

“This is a beautiful collection of tracks where the pioneering spirit of the three artists allowed them to cross musical boundaries with their bold and accomplished playing to forge eight unique and mesmeric numbers,” Marc enthuses.

The label has deftly carved a bold niche and is getting deserved plaudits from all over, having reissued iconic Indonesian recordings, or underground lockdown compliations, highlife from Nigeria, Gnawa from Morrocco, and more.

“While there is commonality in the artists approach to music, there are a wide variety of styles – kosmische musik, electronic experimentation, deep spiritual jazz, modern classical, pastoral guitar soli, and more, Marc adds. “These tracks sound fresh and revealing now, and will certainly do so for a long time to come.”

Oh Temple! was mixed and produced by Ajay Saggar, at his Soundation Studio, in Holland, in the summer of 2020, and mastered by Oli Heffernan in England.

All in all, mesmorising and inspiring stuff; University Challenged are a trio of artists, who are interpreting all of the different aspects of the world right now, nurturing their audience, and with fresh creations that have a timeless effect.

Get Oh Temple! on double vinyl (and more) here.

Check out a WTM label mix of favourites from the label:

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