Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mason + Smyth - Outcroppings (Sun014)

Sunshine Ltd. has been on a roll lately, with each batch of tapes bearing copious fruit.  The previous batch of tapes was full of aural bliss: Smyth - Senescence; Josh Mason - Temple Bell; and Phos Hilaron - Break in the Sun Till the Sun Breaks Down.  Zen Effects wrote reviews on each tape, giving the reader a good understanding of the label and the sounds - click here to read the reviews.  The new tapes, including the highly anticipated Echolocation #4 tape from Nathan McLaughlin, are just as glorious.  Included in the three new tapes is Outcroppings, from the duo of Mason and Smyth.  Outcroppings is viscerally potent, presenting bucolic visions over 30 minutes.

Prior to talking about the instruments and recording setup, I want to say that this tape is as real as it comes.  Outcroppings - particularly side A - presents music that is extremely personal, its effect so palpable that it reduced me to tears.  This tape was the answer to my soul's plea for help and understanding.  The amalgamation of warm ambient sounds, wrapped tightly around my head, afforded cover from the unsettling realities of life.  Throughout the tape, I cried, smiled and contemplated a dubious future; all the time, this music being the guide.  The recording style is special: it feels like the embrace of a good friend.  In addition, Mason and Smyth's use of space gives this recording a unique character.   Mason and Smyth use acoustic guitar, bells, percussion, ebows, mountain dulcimer and autoharp on this recording; it was recorded on 1/4" tape in two takes with no digital devices, overdubs or post processing.

All three of the new releases are available on the Sunshine website.  Click here for a sample.  Also, the Sunshine Bandcamp page has a nice recording from these guys for only a few bucks.  Please support these wonderful musicians.

Peace to my good friends