steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Mason Jones

"The Crystalline World of Memory" CDR

Public Eyesore

Genres: experimental, space rock, solo guitar improv

Nov 4 - 10 2002

Mason Jones is no stranger to accessibility. Having played in improvisational space rock band Subarachnoid Space, he certainly knows how to keep his audience engaged, showing off melody and rhythm in the face of dull experimentation. So it is no surprise that The Crystalline World of Melody, his latest effort, is a completely engaging listen.

From the very first track, "Snow in the Morning," Mason's off to a good start - he begins with some chiming guitar notes and then manipulates them into the form of a guitar solo, maintaining a sense of tone and rhythm throughout. The way in which he presents it, laid on top of a dense, reverb-enhanced ambiance, is a direct throwback to Jones' space rock roots.

"The Last Remembered Moment," meanwhile, is a creepy little space folk-esque number that recalls some of Mogwai's more restrained bits, and is composed of Mason's guitar soloing played over a mysterious, layered guitar noise background. And "The Crystal View" sees him going for a little bit of a rock-based approach, introducing semi-traditional axe-solo elements and mock-riffs to the mix. "That Which We Leave Behind" continues in this vein, turning up the distortion and presenting a solo that would fit straight into a heavy metal band's repertoire without question (well, sort of).

Over the duration of Memory, Mason manages to remain reasonably restrained, holding himself back from any fast-paced guitar freak-outs. While sometimes he does turn on the effects and go for a stronger sound, there is always a sense of "holding back" present. However, his mastery of improvisation still allows him to mess with your mind, and the result is ten pieces that are low in noise, but high in suspense and tension.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]