Album Of The Week: MAST – Love and War_

MAST - Love and War_
Image credit LA Weekly

Via Alpha Pup Records: Love and War_ is a highly conceptual and deeply personal new work based on jazz trained multi-instrumentalist MAST aka Tim Conley’s eventful love life over the last 2 years.

Set up as a three Act Play structure (traditionally the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution) Love and War_ is 17 intense and unique compositions each flowing into the next with recurring musical themes or “characters.” Conley tells the story of (Act 1) finding love and the beauty and naivety that comes with exploring something new; (Act 2) losing that love due to her substance abuse, deception and Conley coping in unhealthy ways; (Act 3) learning to let go, heal and ultimately find a much deeper lasting love. The tone Conley sets is sometimes sarcastic, other times vulnerable and intimate, yet always musically intense and profoundly visual.

Sonically, Love and War_ is mostly instrumental compositions consisting of rousing electronic elements perfectly intertwined with live guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. It’s performed and produced by Conley, along with some of the world’s leading Instrumentalists and vocalists. Keyboardist / producer Taylor McFerrin appears hot off the release of his latest on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Both LA transplants, Conley and McFerrin have been friends and musical acquaintances for over 10 years since their time in NYC and Philly during the early 2000s.

One of the pinnacle points of the Love and War_ story comes late in Act 3. ‘Me and You’ features the sultry and powerful vocals of singer Andrée Belle. Tim wrote the entire Act 3 about Andrée after they met and fell in love, essentially completing the Love and War_ story on a positive high note. Andrée’s mystical and personal lyrics describe their deep musical and physical connection as artists, lovers and partners.

Composing and creating Love and War_ was an efficacious way for Conley to heal and grow but he was very reluctant to share such a personal story so transparently. Through this vulnerability, he hopes that whatever anyone else’s Love and War_ story happens to be, to learn their own life lessons, find the humour in it and always trust in the most optimistic outcome.                                        

 

★★★☆☆

Love and War_ is out now via Alpha Pup Records (buy)

Staff

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