Mas Aya – Kairos

Posted by on February 6, 2014

Mas Aya

The final review I wrote for the Foxy Digitalis site was for Brandon Valdivia’s solo debut as Mas AyaPockets found the Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist exploring vast musical territories – he fused seemingly disparate styles, crossing cultural and chronological divides nearly effortlessly. With Kairos (from the Ancient Greek, meaning the supreme moment, a time when conditions are optimal for the accomplishment of a crucial action), released on the Healing Power label, he treads further along the path he carved out on his debut, incorporating digital drums, dub effects, and provocative spoken-sung (almost chanted, actually) vocals. Whereas Pockets was more in tune with free jazz and noise, the five pieces laid out on this release are far more danceable in nature.

“Get Going” features a minimal percussion pattern and complex flute arrangements. The flutes are multiplied and dubbed out on the dizzying “Askunessippi,” which is the Anishinaabe name for Ontario’s Thames River. Valdivia’s vocals take centre stage in “Working Everyday” and “If the World,” the former a scorching track that shines a revelatory light on the impoverished global working class, with the latter being a call-to-arms disguised as a kaleidoscopic survey of street-party dance styles. “Resist Stance” is a slow-burning cinder of melodica that erupts into a fireball of frenetic sound by the time the track draws to a close. The whole package is available as both a cassette and CD (or digitally, if you like) – complete with gorgeous risographed artwork – from the Mas Aya Bandcamp, so snatch up your copy now.