13 August 2012

Josh Mason - temple bell (Sunshine Ltd., 2011)

Moving slightly forward in my exploration of the quite under the radar but inversely proportionally precious Sunshine Ltd label, after having enjoyed records by Jared Smyth and David Andree, I now discover the works of Josh Mason.

Born in 1983 and living in Jacksonville, FL, Josh Mason progressively moved between being member of a band towards developing his own vision through a solo project. The instrumental result floats between two universes, between symbolic post-* music with the acoustic guitar, which could remind as diverse people and band as Tara Jane O'Neil, Joan of Arc or Scott Tuma on one side, and a more electonic/ambient approach on the other side, from Fennesz to 12k artists and consorts. 

His own motto, stolen from his facebook profile, perfectly resumes his achievement : "Utilizing his background as a guitarist, he creates works that push the limits of what the instrument was designed to do. Instead of discarding or ignoring them, he highlights chance and mistakes and pairs them with field recordings and digital processes to produce new and exploratory sounds."

My only complaint  could be that he always (consciously) avoids elements which could create a too obvious melodic structure. Besides that he is regularly capturing and evanescent and fragile beauty. The title track "Temple Bell", "Ash"and "Obsidian Flakes" are particularly graceful. 

There is something vegetal about this record. It makes me think of those time lapse documentaries where you see plants growing and blooming in the space of half a minute. 

The record is sadly sold out and was just edited as 50 tapes & downloads. I've just been lucky to find it still floating on some streams. It's a keeper and I'm looking forward discovering more music from him.   

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