Shava Sadhana: Gone, but never forgotten
20.01.1976 – 23.05.2016
by Marcel P.
There are two dates when you think of the dearly departed more than usual: The day they died and the birthday they won’t celebrate anymore. January 20th is coming up, and it would have been the birthday of a dear friend and extremely underrated artist. There’s a chance that as a reader of this fine publication you may have at least heard or read the name of his project: Shava Sadhana.
‘Shava Sadhana’ is a sanskrit term that translates to ‘meditation on/over a dead body’. It was a one-man project, with the artist going by the pseudonym Vingthorr at first and later adopting the name Swami Shri Shri Kalidasha.
The style of the music was electro-based and heavily psychedelic with haunting melodies, a lot of ambient sounds, and a number of industrial beats. On occasion he would make use of acoustic guitar sounds, which made the music (neo)folk-compatible as well.
As the name of the project would suggest, the topics and lyrics were always laced with spiritual and occult influences. Shava Sadhana would combine different occult and mystic traditions, like the Hindu goddess Kali Ma and the European Pagan traditions of Wotan/Odin. Combined with Swami’s personal interest in a number of occult authors such as Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Savitri Devi, and Aleister Crowley, the listeners were in for a dark and eerie ride through the imagination of an exceptionally gifted artist.
Everything started with an album called Andask, first released on a small label called Licht von Thule in 2005 and an exclusive compilation track on the first Neo-Form digital compilation that same year. That first album already had the aforementioned spiritual ingredients from the different traditions of Hinduism, Wotanism, and general occultism that would come to define the project.
The release history of the project shows a gap between the years of 2007 and 2013, where the project was ‘on ice’ due to personal reasons. But the three years before his untimely death, Swami unleashed a number of amazing releases on the world. And everything is still available to this day, for new listeners to explore:
- Andask (Album) 
- Neo-Form I (Compilation-Track) 
- Salon Décadence (4-Way-Split-CD) 
- Lot (EP) 
- Burning Hell – Into The Furnace Again (Album) 
- Midnight|Radio V (Compilation-Track) 
- Midnight|Radio IV (Compilation-Track) 
- Kali Puja (Album) 
- Chaosphere Vol. 2 – Sleepwalk To Murder (Murder No 1) (Compilation-Track) 
- The Impaler Of God (Album) 
- E.G.O. (Is A Selfish Lover) (Single) 
- Ebola (Single) 
- Have Faith (Lethe) (EP) 
During my time with the webzine Neo-Form, I didn’t just write articles and organize events but also compiled the Neo-Form compilation albums. And just when I was looking for participants for the very first of those compilations, I came across a CD which was sent to me for a review: Shava Sadhana’s debut album Andask. And I got hooked… right away. Needless to say, I wrote to the band’s address asking for an exclusive track for the album. That email started a lengthy friendship and collaboration which wouldn’t have ended if it weren’t for Swami’s early death due to medical complications after a very unfortunate accident.
Shava Sadhana didn’t just influence my music style (which includes sometimes blending electronic and acoustic elements), but Swami actually taught me how to use my first recording software and let me record my very first keyboard track at his place with his equipment. I also cherish the memory of helping out as a live mixer at a Shava Sadhana gig and—after a couple years of silence which coincided with the gap in Shava Sadhana’s history—just talking to him and exchanging ideas and raw material for songs.
Right before this world lost him forever, we had made plans to appear on each other’s upcoming albums, which is not just the reason for the dedication in the latest Miel Noir album, but also for the release of a Shava Sadhana cover by my solo project. It shouldn’t have been a ‘cover’; it should have been a collaboration on his next CD… which never saw the light of day.
What’s Left Behind?
Swami may have left this world, but Shava Sadhana lives on—not just in the music collections of many people out there, but also on a number of websites. If you would like to check out the music of Shava Sadhana, I would suggest using the BandCamp page where most of the material can be downloaded for free as a ‘name your price’ download. On the other pages (mostly YouTube), you will also find exclusive material such as remixes, cover versions, and live recordings.
Soundcloud | Myspace | My Own Music | Tumblr
Swami lives on in the hearts and minds of his family, his friends and his fans and listeners from all around the world. Because of who he was and how he was. And his music will stand the test of time.
Written on the eve of Swami’s birthday, January 19, 2018.