The whole of the globe is open for bartering and exchange in the one-world musical market. American musical ears have, thankfully, become attuned to the same pervasive and constant interchange of cultures thats now taken for granted in the business and corporate realms sans most of the exploitation. And, while American pop culture colonialism is still the general rule, one need only look to the commercial success enjoyed by Latin American pop acts, Cuban jazz artists finally getting their due, the wild mishmash of Japanese shibuya-pop of acts such as Pizzicato 5, Cornelius and so many others to realize that our borders are still very much open.
I thank you for your attention to the preceding preamble because Machas See It Another Way is another, more subtle example of the necessary musical cross-pollination that keeps the sounds around us vital. The Athens, Ga.-based quartet takes its name from a cautionary Gaelic folk tale and its sound from a mixture of Cans funky drone, Velvet Undergrounds eerie ambience, American indie rocks minor-key introspection, a bit of that old, mid-80s post-new-wave black magic and a fascination with the musical and environmental sounds of Indonesia. Machas 1998 self-titled debut introduced a horde of ringer-Td indie kids to the entrancing sound of the gamelan and a few other Pacific Rim instrumental touches and that, couched in the context of Machas taut, rhythm-based songwriting and breathy, mystic lyrics, made for a hypnotizing listen. In fact, See It Another Way isnt so much a progression from Machas sonic equation as it is a document of a band feeling the flow of the river it set out upon. (Though the elegiac twinkle of the instrumental track, "Submarine Lover," is a fresh wonder in and of itself, and the stunning eight-minute album closer, "Between Stranded Sonars," will leave you simply breathless.)
Where other bands stretching this far afield in search of new sounds for "the kids" could play like a novelty, Machas sublime integration of parallel worlds is sly and their wandering ways bring us all a little closer.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.