Touring as Haale in 2009, The Mast’s vocalist Haale Gafori. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Sean Richardson.

We watch an exquisite music video on Create Digital Motion today for The Mast’s recent single “UpUpUp,” so it’s only right to call attention to this terrific New York-based duo. Combining acrobatic percussionist Matt Kilmer with skilled and silken-voiced composer/singer Haale Gafori (she also directs that stellar video), the two continue to please as “The Mast.” Beatport called the single, released at the end of May, “must-listen,” and I won’t argue. The full EP is worth a listen, with remixes contributed by a nice roster of artists: Beautiful Bells, oddlogic, Bryan Noll, The Man With The Stuff, Jared Sanders, and Justin Paul.

The sound, weaving electronic beats with vocals and percussion, is to my ears New York City urgency combined with Persian lyricism. (Haale was born in the Bronx to Persian parents, channeling those two energies in the recording here.) Haale’s vocals are incomparable; Matt’s percussion chops are some of the best found anywhere, producing driving, tribal fireworks that propels the songwriting forward.

This is doubly worth mentioning as it’s yet another big release that’s available direct from the artists on Bandcamp.

Correction: It’s worth mentioning the distribution model here, but this story as published was incorrect. I regret the error. Justin Paul of Play Loop Records tells us the complete story – which, with multiple outlets, is actually far more interesting than the self-released, Bandcamp-only model I (erroneously) claimed the release used. He writes:

The Mast EP is on two record labels Channel A & Playloop Records. Each label is leveraging their brand and audience. CH A is focusing on the iTunes market and Playloop is focus on EDM stores like Beatport, Juno and more. The band also has the freedom to release their content on Bandcamp for free or paid. This is a true 21st century record deal.

Multiple labels and a self release? iTunes and Beatport and pay-what-you-will or free on Bandcamp, and more? If anyone knows of other releases with this model, I’d love to hear about them, too, but this is indeed an interesting and novel approach and deserves its own write-up.

More: TheMastMusic.com
And don’t miss the video: Dance and Photography Combine Beautifully in Music Video for The Mast

  • Justin Paul

    The release is on two record labels. Each are leveraging their brand and audience. Channel A Records for iTunes, and Playloop Records for EDM stores like Beatport, Juno and more. The artist is also offering the release on BandCamp. This is the 21st Century model for sure. 

  • Random Chance

    The intro reminds me of Radiohead’s “Where I end and you begin” but the rest could use some work. The vocals drown in “stop-motion” beats which is a shame because I think they could be salvaged. Sadly, none of the remixes presented here accomplish this. I guess I’m just not hip with the current breed of electronic music.

  • Chris Stack

    They played here in Asheville not too long ago. Saw them and hung out a bit afterwards.  Great music and great folks!