Josh Mason & Nathan McLaughlin – 3440

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Josh Mason & Nathan McLaughlin 3440
Tape Drift
Cassette C40

I may very well know Josh Mason because of the reel to reel. Through a chance encounter with David Andree in St Paul at a crow with no mouth concert, who told me about Josh and his Sunshine Ltd imprint, I came to know not only the work of that fine label…but the human being that is Josh Mason. It is true…we both enjoy reel to reel machines, and it is true we dedicated this split release to the TEAC 3440 “as an instrument”. What is even more true is that what Josh and I truly share in common is an approach….and an attitude that seems to meet us in the morning when we awake….and that stays with us into the long night hovered over our equipment. It is this approach that is really what this cassette means to me. An approach I can only refer to as….candor.

Every once in a while, a tape blows your mind to the extent that one desires to delve deeply, becoming ensconced to study its glistening beauty. On 3440, the split release from Josh Mason and Nathan McLaughlin on Eric Hardiman’s stellar Tape Drift, both artists adeptly demonstrate their ability to craft fastidious, minimal works of art by utilizing space, restraint and texture among other qualities. Both artists use the Teac 3440 reel-to-reel machine in their work, and this release is a tribute to the technology that imbues their art with a palpable feeling.

The Honest Bag – October 25th, 2012

What a tape. Mason’s side is liltingly cyclical, minimally evolving with minute, subtle flourishes. Piano, then some guitar. Deliriously just outside of repetitive. Something tiny is added with every lap. Coma sounds. Perfect coma sounds. McLaughlin offers lonesome banjo plucked with menacing deep bass looming behind. Plaintive, then dark until distortion washes it all out. It goes from minimal to sub-minimal and then turns to disorienting. It’s a puzzling and remarkable tape through and through.

The Upstate Soundscape – December 26th, 2012