Dan Mason

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Color (2013), 5/10
Night Day (2014), 5/10
Sun Bleached (2015), 4.5/10
Miami Virtual (2015), 4/10
Miami Virtual 2.0 (2016), 5/10
Summer Love (2016), 5/10
Electric Elevator (2018), 4.5/10
Void (2018), 4/10
Hypnagogia (2019), 4/10
Forever Nothing (2020), 3/10
I'm Not Going Anywhere (2020), 4.5/10

Prolific Miami-based ambient and vaporwave artist Dan Mason released on average more than two albums per year between 2013 and 2020. Color (2013) contains an original take on ambient and cosmic music, the 14-minute Saturation. Night Day (2014) is psychological droning music, notably the eight-minute whirling noise of Terror.

Alas, Mason converted to conventional vaporwave on Sun Bleached (2015), with plenty of light jazz and lethargic melodies. The best track, the eight-minute Sunset Sky, is nothing but old-fashioned new-age music.

Miami Virtual DMT028 (2015 - My Pet Flamingo, 2020) is therefore but a parade of sleepy new-age music with obnoxious soft-jazz themes (1, 2, 5), rearrangements of pop themes (4) and an anemic autotuned ballad (7). The exotic disco music of 3 partially relieves the torture.

Miami Virtual 2.0 - DMT250 (2016) marked the conversion to the kind of "future funk" launched in 2013 by Saint Pepsi (Ryan DeRobertis, later better known as Skylar Spence) with the album Hit Vibes; i.e. the album sounds mostly like a tribute to the exotic horn-driven disco music of the 1970s (1,2,3). However, the album also includes the light jazz of Night Drive, the hip-hop skit X Gonna Funk Ya, and the instrumental ballads After Sunset and especially Sayonara Sunshine.

Summer Love (2016) added the exuberant disco-music of Beach Body and Na Na and the nostalgic vignettes Splash and Natsu Ai.

Electric Elevator (2018) contains brief "elevator music" instrumentals that are unusually funny and jovial, from the funk-jazz jam Fiscal Fusion to the mechanical synth-pop ditty Bossy Bossa (a career highlight).

The bulk of Void (2018) sounded like a tribute to the 1980s, whether the lethargic soul ballad (Pain Reliever) or the synth-pop (Wishful Thinking) that topped the charts of that decade.

He turned to singing in a deep voice on Hypnagogia (2019) over slow instrumentals still inspired by the dance-pop hits of the 1980s.

Forever Nothing (2020) are truly difficult to listen to, especially the terrifying ballads of the latter.

Surprisingly I'm Not Going Anywhere (2020) is a regular singer-songwriter album, with warm and pensive elegies, and even the slocore ballad From You and the pastoral instrumental Air.

As it is often the case with musicians whose last name is not Mozart, the quality of Mason's "music" is inversely proportional to the quantity.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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