Manchesters trio of psychedelic storytellers, Masa Diora are back with their new EP ‘The Visionary.’ The EP continues the story of Lawrence Blight, the conduit of the band’s mind-bending tale. Lawrence is desperately seeking happiness in the alternate reality of his self-programmed computer game. However he is doing so through the aid of psychedelic drugs, prescribed by his unlawful doctor. This virtual reality is too easy to believe but is so far from the truths of Lawrences life. As with ‘Blood Moon’ (The bands last single) I am continually captivated by the effort these lads are putting into their image and the music itself, it truly sets them apart from anything coming out of Manchester, or maybe even the country right now.
The EP starts with ‘Esoteric Transmission’ a cinematic instrumental, opening with a distorted spoken word voice that the band loves to use and I like to think is the computer game speaking to Lawrence. It states he is ‘Leaving an unforgiving life to one which holds beauty and power’ perhaps the band are mirroring the euphoric track with how Lawrence feels in his computer game. All of this whilst having some awesome work on the guitar.
These themes continue into the next two tracks. - ‘Awake’ and ‘The Visionary,’ which both encapsulate the bands raw talent for writing modern psychedelic music. They are laid-back yet layered tracks, more spoken word samples and lyrics that comment on our society, exploring the depression within Lawrence’s real life and how his virtual reality has ‘no stress and no worries’. However, as the end of ‘The Visionary’ states - “the only problem would be, That you are dreaming.” This line is a far too real reflection on some peoples use of the online world to escape reality.
‘Constellation’ starts off Side Two of the EP with another instrumental. Yet this one has an ominous undertones of the drum machine that run-through the song that gives it an unsettling vibe compared to ‘Esoteric Transmission.’
This unsettling vibe is taken even further in my favourite track of the EP - “Binary.” Which is a dark look at the true reality of Lawrences life; He has gone too far down the rabbit hole of his creation, he doesn’t see the real world anymore, only Binary. The track itself has a brooding tone that is enhanced by the meandering, subtle guitar riffing. Then once it hits the chorus you get ominous, distorted vocals that repeat “I just see the world in binary.” It gets right under your skin yet you cant help but sing along. The song ends by detonating into the best guitar solo of the album.
Finally, ’Embark,’ the last track of the album, has a groovy bassline and some relatable lyrics for those who has ever been in a dark place, speaking about how “sometimes we lie to justify inside” and how you can be “poisoned by your mind.” It gives us sympathy for Lawrence as he is a victim of his own mind, something many people experience today. You therefore understand why he is taking himself to the virtual reality, he feels happy there. However, it is a slippery slope and I love how Masa Diora are interweaving these ideas and reflections on modern society throughout some solid psychedelic music.
The EP is out on the 5th April and all I can say is to go and give it a listen when its out and you’ll get lost in Masa Diora’s music. Also, if you haven’t already go check out the two singles that are out now, links below.
You Don’t Love Me - https://open.spotify.com/track/1tRuqELuMhuCpg2GWXV74x?si=RINCddhrQKKMcGjS2IQrkQ