MAS & Travis McAlister’s Vintage Melancholia

M A S & Travis McAlister  - The Fade Out Room (tube 243)

M A S & Travis McAlister - The Fade Out Room (tube 243)

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a sonic photograph of ages past. M A S (aka Makram Abu-Shakra) and Travis McAlister, both talented multi-instrumentalists, have come together to create an atmosphere that hearkens back to the scratchy phonograph records of the early 20th century complete with subtle organ swells, a tinkling music box, a plastic trumpet and hints of old jazz. This is equal parts music production and sound design as the tracks invoke melancholic moods, while painting an aural portrait of empty rooms, jangling cans, flooded basements, peeling wallpaper, and faulty film projectors.

Listen to this first track from the album and you’ll understand:

It’s creepy, sublime music that gets under your skin. Partly because, like a broken record, it purposely repeats not just phrases, but whole sections of certain tracks immediately after a fadeout.

The Fade Out Room makes a perfect soundtrack for a gothic psychological thriller involving necromancy, or even an artsy indie film about mental illness. In its own way, it is a beautifully crafted piece that is haunting — both literally and figuratively.


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