MAST /\\\ - Battle Hymns of the Republic

 

Label: World Galaxy / Alpha Pup Records

Release: January 29th 2021 

MAST’s Battle Hymns of the Republic is a highly imaginative dissident’s brew of critical environmental and socio-political issues of the day. Scored by moving orchestral arrangements, poignant spoken word, impassioned jazz sensibilities, and angular electronic beats and samples, MAST reflects compositionally on our present day battles for unity, equality, facts, justice, and empathy for those in need. Each track, or “hymn,” addresses these attacks on not just who and what we are as a country in the United States, but also our responsibility to fellow human beings and the place we hold in the global society. Battle Hymns of the Republic is the 4th MAST album with Los Angeles-based Alpha Pup Records and will see worldwide release January 29, 2021.  

 

Like previous albums in the MAST catalog, Battle Hymns of the Republic features various members of the global music community. This time comprising Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and London based musicians. Pharoah Sanders, Harry Belafonte, and Charles Lloyd collaborator Dwight Trible interweaves a multitude of vocal layers, proverbs, quotes, and personal writings on the transfixing spiritual number “Benevolence.” Coming off recent features with Teebs, Blue & Exile, Mia Doi Todd, and Shafiq Husayn, Jimetta Rose pens the exploratory and revelation laden “All of the Colors.” It’s a deep examination of race in America that distills the energy of present times in an uncanny way. MAST’s life partner, Andrée Belle, contributes to “The Golden Door.” Reciting the 1883 Emma Lazarus poem found inside the Statue Of Liberty with an original piece, Andrée finds duality in the ancient ancestral plane and political landscapes of today. MAST composed full band arrangements for the entire LP and added guitar, bass, keys, beats, and programming himself. The group that performed MAST’s compositions across Battle Hymns of the Republic consists of Luis Mascara (violin), Artyom Manukyan (cello), Dan Rosenboom (trumpet), Gavin Templeton (alto/bari sax), Brian Marsella (keyboards), Jason Fraticelli (upright bass), Anwar Marshall (drums), and Maxwell Hallett (drums). 

 

MAST is no stranger to conceptual projects. All three of his previous MAST LP’s have been heavily funneled through a conceptual lens. 2014’s OMNI presents a sonic amalgamation of nature samples, acoustic instruments, and electronics; 2016’s Love and War_ was arranged in a three act play structure exploring love and loss; 2018’s Thelonious Sphere Monk is a cosmic journey reinterpreting the great Monk songbook. MAST also recently scored the Stan Douglas sci-fi film that explores parallel realities, Doppelgänger, initially premiering at the 2019 Venice Biennale.  

 

MAST on his new work:

 

“Battle Hymns of the Republic is a deliberate reflection of events happening in our country and around the world. A spiritual protest against the rise of misinformation and fascist ideologies that aim to redefine who we are at our best and fondle our worst sensibilities. At our best, we are a nation of immigrants, a nation of refugees, a nation that thrives when diversity, compassion, education and science are nestled not neglected. At our worst, we are a nation in denial of our past and present evils. A nation dismissive of its founding idols were slave owners while still suffering the pitfalls of institutional racism. A nation led by narcissistic tyrants whom govern through division. A nation who covers its eyes and ears to the indisputable coming tsunami of climate change as the furious waves of natural disasters and a global pandemic this very moment challenges our humanity. This is my unapologetic yet humble offering to inspire, motivate and help steer our collective ship towards the calmer waters of empathy, equality, sustainability, and truth.”


 

Tracklisting

 

1.  Affirmation

2.  Call to Action

3.  The Anti-Fascist Battle Hymn

4.  The Golden Door (feat Andrée Belle)

5.  Nation of Immigrants

6.  Civil Disobedience

7.  Benevolence (feat Dwight Trible)

8.  Nation of Refugees

9.  Their Fear of Diversity

10. All of The Colors (feat Jimetta Rose)

11. Hymn

12. I Pledge My Grievance to The Flag

13. Diaspora of Climate Change

14. Psalm For All Tomorrows


 

Personnel:

 

Timothy Conley - Composer, Guitar, Bass, Keys, Beats, Production

Andrée Belle - Vocals (tracks 4, 5)

Dwight Trible - Vocals (tracks 7, 8)

Jimetta Rose - Vocals (tracks 9, 10)

Luis Mascara - Violin (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13)

Artyom Manukyan - Cello (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13)

Dan Rosenboom - Trumpet (tracks 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14)

Gavin Templeton - Alto Sax, Bari Sax (tracks 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14)

Brian Marsella - Keyboards (tracks 3, 8, 9, 12, 14)

Jason Fraticelli - Upright Bass (tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14)

Anwar Marshall - Drums (tracks 1, 3, 6) 

Maxwell Hallett - Drums (track 14)
Mastering- Daddy Kev at Cosmic Zoo, Los Angeles, CA
Album Art - Tokio Aoyama


 

Notes:

 

“The Golden Door” (track 4) includes “The New Colossus” poem by Emma Lazarus (1883) mounted inside the Statue of Liberty

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


 

“Benevolence” (track 7) includes quotes from interviews of John Coltrane​

©2018 MAST

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