Australia - Full Moon 124 - 11/05/06
My Majestic Star
Ideas are the Answer
Hidden Shoal Recordings
One half of the majestic Glassacre and a great solo artist in his own right, Chris Mason also records under the My Majestic Star moniker, producing excellent instrumental guitar music in the style of Papa M's masterpiece Live From A Shark Cage.
If you know that particular record, you'll know that drawing such a comparison is reason enough to seek out Ideas are the Answer. These nine songs are spacious, melodic, and achingly affecting, weaving reverb-drenched and delayed guitar lines, samples of garbled voices, keys, and a simple but effective
rhythm section, all performed with subtlety and grace by Mr Mason.
The standout tracks are the opener "Coffee Stains and Beer" for solo guitar, which conjures the same atmosphere of reflection and longing as Shark Cage's gorgeous "Arundel", and is easily its equal. Then, "Half Measures" loses the listener in a disorientating swirl of distorted guitar arpeggios, voices and shuffled drums, and is an exhilarating ride. Aside from these two stunners, none of the remaining songs stand out individually, but the atmosphere and pacing of the music is thoroughly absorbing and evocative, making for a great listen on headphones.
I can strongly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys atmospheric instrumental guitar music, and there's plenty of space and depth in these songs to warrant repeat listening.
Copyright © 2006 Tim Clarke