Track By Tracks: MASIRO - Geodesics (2018)


Fast rising UK mathcore trio MASIRO have been wooing listeners with their own blend of math-prog-metal since the tail end of 2011. Although influenced by everyone from Meshuggah and Primus, through to Mars Volta, MASIRO bear their own markings, evidenced in the shape of their brand new EP, Geodesics, which isout this Friday. We have this exclusive track by track of the EP, here:

1. Andromeda Handshake:

We wanted to start this record with a bang! The title refers to the eventual collision of our Milky Way galaxy with that of the Andromeda galaxy. We love a bit of sci-fi. We've tried to keep musical ideas more concise and consistent in general on this record, rather than jumping around too much like on the last two. There is more repetition of sections than previous tracks we've written and a more solid rhythmic pulse, even though the time signature may not be 4/4. And Hand probably took the longest to come together, as we couldn't agree on a more frantic vibe for the beginning sections, or a more laid back groove. It ended up being sort of both, and also introduces some more doomy influence on the record. The guitar tones also start to develop into bolder sounds in the solo / outro section.

2. K-Ursa:

It is customary for a Masiro record to include a "K-bear" themed track. The first EP began with K-Panda, the second record K-Polar, and now K-Ursa - the great bear in the sky, also tying in with the space-time theme.

Instrumentally it is the first time we've had both acoustic guitar and saxophone on record. It takes us more down a prog / post rock route and has a looping 9/4 pattern, which we initially found it hard to break out of and write any other sections. Eventually Hutch swooped in with the groovy stoner blues type riff which became the other part of the song. There's more room to breathe than a lot of what we've written to date.

3. 21:15:

This track is a mellower point in our live set and the record. The pace backs off and the cleaner riff repeats a lot more. This was one of our oldest ideas finally come to fruition. It is perhaps musically most similar to the previous record, Technocologist Unknown. We think of it as our 'Don Cab' idea, that maybe becomes a bit more Russian Circles! The title refers to both a date in the future and the illusion of an inverted digital clock reading the same forwards as it does backwards. The guitar uses Whammy pedal for the first time on Geodesics, which influenced the sound and structure. We used the garbled ring-out feedback sound it has for the guitar layers in the spaced out sections. We pull out the delay stops for the post-rock build up section towards the end, finishing on the mathiest dirge riff on the record so far.

4. Intermission: Graveyard Orbit:

We pulled in our friend and collaborator Lee Riley for some drone influence on the record. We initially aimed at having more drone material in-between tracks, however decided this would have made it too long-

winded. We spent an afternoon recording some prepared guitars, pedal and bass feedback from other tracks, which was then edited into the more concise piece that's on the record. We like the step back it gives you, as well as the time to just listen to the sounds and textures rather that the song structure. Technically this is the only vocal track on the record, albeit used as a subtle texture rather than anything obvious. The title is another space theme - the Graveyard Orbit is a geodesic where dead / decommissioned satellites float on endlessly.

5. End Permian:

This track featured a long bass intro when we played it live, so integrating that out of the drone made sense. That way it didn't feel too drawn out when played in isolation. It was also written in a very specific and experimental way. Hutch provided the bass sections, with specific instructions on how the drum and guitar parts should interact with it, which is not something we've done so explicitly before. The sections were written and built up separately, then brought together during jam sessions. This gives it a more structurally defined sound and lots of space on the guitars during the 'verse' sections, with some more unique chords and voicings than other tracks. We recorded the guitars with the help of Andrew Warne, who had some valuable input into the tones and pedals that you hear. The title refers to one of the largest mass-extinction events in the Earth's history. Not sci-fi so much as epic history and perhaps a fear for the future of the planet and our race.

6. Grand Trine:

An arrangement of three planets in which each planet is in trine with the other two, forming an equilateral triangle. We're not really into astrology, but we thought the concept was beautifully poetic and fitting for the record. We tried to leave the best until last - this track goes down well live, so we tend to play it last in the set. It's simpler to play than most of our material, so it's usually more relaxed and fun, which people pick up on. The main riff was somewhat tongue-in-cheek when we wrote it, but it became something of a guilty pleasure so we kept it. The big guitar delay outro is the most euphoric moment for us live too, followed by the most hench riff, which ends the record on a real high. As it was probably our most concise track structurally and had the best audience response, it became the music video.

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