My semi-regular foray into electronic music is still in its infancy. Sure, electronica has grown on me, but sometimes I can still be heard scoffing at it. For a long time, electronic music was to me what abstract art is to my mother: "now Tanis, you could do that. And you can't really draw." What I'm trying to say is: my taste for this genre is unrefined and my attention span is short. So believe me when I say that Californian trio mAsis have this acoustic guitar-loving flower-child's undivided attention and complete awe with the release of their latest EP Always You.
Always You is ethereal and tribal; waif-like with a backbone of steel. Ambient sound is magically paired with heavy synth, hollow beats and a shimmery vocal falsetto. This music doesn't use classical instrumentation or lyric to transport, but the sheer power of a soundscape. This is perhaps most evident on the track "Choices/Burdens," which begins in the same way the first track ends, with a doubled vocal reminiscent of Imogen Heap, and develops into a sharp and driving beat. It fills up every corner of the room. Make no mistake, ye of little faith: mAsis made this from scratch, with dreams and bare hands. This music is hard work and its artistry can be equivalent to the most practiced and traditional of classical musicians. Elaborating on the EP, they divulge, "Always You is a journey towards atonement...of revisiting our past so we can embrace our ever-changing future." The lyricism is lush and works in tandem with the electronics, each sharing the spotlight in equal measure on this EP.
In a sea of endless house beats that occasionally make me want to put my head through a wall, mAsis have found a ship to steer, somehow subverting tropes of a genre that seem too young yet to even be subverted. Always You makes clever use of electronic tropes while simultaneously raging against them, balancing in that beautiful precarious place between music of the past and music of the future.