From distant ocean song to the clang and howl of a murky forgotten memory, MASS is a dreamlike collage of shrill shrieks, gasps, corroded brass choirs, and melting modular synth soundscapes, all heard through a mist of hiss and noise. Fused together with equal parts frenetic improvisation, shrouded ritual, and meticulous arrangement, it presents a sonic topography at once tongue-in-cheek, sensitive, and nightmarish.
With discordant chorales and angular trumpet improvisations churning in an ever-evolving wash of whispers and howls, MASS is a collection of hazy, harsh, and frightful sound-worlds. With tracks meandering between aggressive rhythms, eerie ambiences, and abrasive cut-up electronic textures, MASS draws inspiration from early tape music, horror film soundtracks, and grindcore.
It was assembled between listening to extended doses of Else Marie Pade, Daphne Oram, Eliane Radigue, the Locust, Edgard Varèse, Maryanne Amacher, Dick Raaijmakers, Naked City, Mr. Bungle, and Thomas Ankersmit, bringing a little bit of all of them along with it.
MASS was originally conceived of as a 3-track EP, recorded and mixed over the course of three weeks in January – February 2021 while in the midst of a cross-country move. Recorded entirely in short-term housing away from her studio (and most of her instruments), Reid relied exclusively on her voice, trumpet, flugelhorn, household objects, and Make Noise’s Strega semi-modular synthesizer for all sound materials. The MASS EP was released in March 2021 as a digital-only release, along with a limited run of hand-assembled tempographical maps and listening notes.
Upon being approached by Aurora Central Records to issue a re-release of MASS in physical form, Reid created two additional tracks to the collection: Vessel and Sublimate. These new chapters offer the listener an expanded sonic journey by deconstructing and weaving together thematic elements from the original collection along with new sound materials acquired from feedback circuits, incomplete radio transmissions, and highly amplified tiny objects.
Reproductions of the original tempographical maps, plus two additional maps, are included with the cassette and vinyl editions to help guide your listening. Original sound materials were recorded loosely and independently with little to no overdubbing, instead relying on meticulous editing and processing in the manner of classic tape music.
releases March 1, 2024
Sarah Belle Reid: trumpet, flugelhorn, voice, household objects, Make Noise 0-CTRL + Strega, miscellaneous toys and percussion, no-input mixer
Ryan Gaston: Make Noise 0-CTRL + Strega, Buchla 200e, Max/MSP processing, radio
Editing on Passage, Collide, and Mass by Ryan Gaston
All tracks co-produced and mixed by Ryan Gaston and Sarah Belle Reid
Passage, Collide, and Mass were recorded January–February 2021 in Little Rock, AR.
Vessel and Sublimate were recorded November 2022–February 2023 in Fayetteville, AR.
Mastering by Aurora Central Records