My Majestic Star
Shades of ambience flow into moments of shoegaze rock, turning through melancholic piano arcs and following the well-trodden path of obscure narrative. No manifesto, no thesis, no all-encompassing mantra. Just experimentation with guitars, keyboards and samplers, and a feeling that music should, in some instances, be allowed to evolve as an entity of itself.
I Haven’t Got It In Me
On third full length album I Haven’t Got It In Me, My Majestic Star continue to showcase their exceptional command of atmosphere and tension. The album sees My Majestic Star merge weightless daydream pop with droning shoegaze and even a smattering of slowcore. Haven’t Got It In Me” expands upon the immersive and dynamic soundscapes of previous My Majestic Star releases with its lush and subtle songcraft, and for the first time features the stunning vocals of the bands cellist, Miriam Braun, alongside Chris Masons distinctively dreamy tones. The album swims in uppers and downers, all the while painting an intimate yet brooding landscape for the listener to traverse.
Too Late, The Day
Expanding upon the emotionally-stirring instrumental palette of debut album Ideas Are The Answer and the stunning follow-up EP Fining, Too Late, The Day immerses the listener in its warm, enveloping drones, woven guitars and shoegazing songcraft for 45 minutes of sonic wonder. Including the stunning single ‘and having a reason why’, which features Chris Mason’s gorgeous reverb-soaked vocals for the first time on a My Majestic Star release, Too Late, The Day is deliberately non-literal – it doesn’t so much tell a story, but rather provides a bed within which to tell your own. It is the soundtrack to a waking fiction, a soft-focus reverie. While so many albums in this area deliberately evoke wide-open vistas and apocalyptic atmospheres, Too Late, The Day is more of an exercise in intimacy and engagement.
On this wonderful follow up EP to Ideas are the Answer, My Majestic Star have produced a work that is at once luscious and lonely. Its gorgeous hanging guitar tones weave themselves around layered synths and syncopated drums. The EP’s five tracks each draw their own melodic atmosphere and bear witness to a wonderful paradoxical emotional tenor – a kind of hopeful melancholy.
Ideas Are The Answer
My Majestic Star lay down an expansive palette on their debut release. A patchwork of light and shade where shades of ambience flow into moments of shoegazing post rock. No manifesto, no thesis, no all-encompassing mantra. A beautiful layered weaving of guitars and samplers.
My Majestic Star began as a solo recording project for Perth artist Chris Mason (Chris Mason Implosion, Glassacre). The motivation was to experiment with guitars, samplers and keyboards to create music that evolved naturally of its own volition. With a background in, and love for, shoegaze and post-rock, the result was a melding of fuzzed-out ambience and shimmering, haunting melodies, which culminated in the release of the first My Majestic Star album Ideas Are the Answer. Recorded entirely by Mason, the album is a collection of tracks meant to evoke the listener’s own interpretations, resulting in music of a non-narrative nature that nevertheless seeks to tell a story or, more accurately, allow the listener to create their own. The follow-up EP Fining continued this ethic but also introduced pop elements into the mix.
With the recent release of the new album Too Late, The Day, My Majestic Star has taken the next step and evolved into a live act. With the addition of friends who also happen to be ridiculously talented musicians – Miriam Braun (Tragic Delicate), Stuart Medley (Benji, Fur Versions, Motor Eye) and Jamie Hamilton (PB, M-16’s) – My Majestic Star live is more raw, urgent and self-evolving than the recorded material. The purpose is to not simply play the songs as they have been recorded but to adapt them to a live environment – to allow them to take on a life of their own and develop with each performance.
My Majestic Star exists for a listener to create their own path in the music, to take what they hear and relate it to themselves, to create their own stories and come to their own conclusions. It may be wrong; it doesn’t matter. Listen and decide for yourself.
Hidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.
From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.
Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.
Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists. For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).
Hidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.
Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!
We’re excited to announce the release of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed, freely downloadable compilations. Long Range Transmissions showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the Hidden Shoal catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.
The albums is freely downloadable via BandCamp and can also be streamed at SoundCloud and MixCloud. The album also features gorgeous artwork by Gabrielle Harcourt, with the Bandcamp download coming with a bundled PDF booklet.
Hidden Shoal has recently had more music placed in another wonderful production. The fantastic short ABC documentary “Pippin Drysdale And Warrick Palmateer: The Perfect Thing” by Chad Peacock and Lauren McDonough features tracks by Hidden Shoal’s My Majestic Star and Slow Dancing Society. The doco is a beautiful exploration of the working relationship between two of Australia’s most talented ceramicists. Stream it online at the ABC Arts website. Congrats to Chad and Lauren for such a great piece.
Throughout the month of May 2012, Hidden Shoal Recordings is celebrating its sixth birthday. Later in the month will be the release of the latest free sampler album, Triangulating Nature, which compiles 12 singles released over the last 12 months. Other delicious surprises will be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.
Since starting up in Perth, Western Australia in 2006, Hidden Shoal has developed an enviable roster of genre-defying global and local recording artists. With 40+ acts from 10+ different countries, ranging from British ambient artist Antonymes through to American musical experimentalist Todd Tobias and beyond, the committed team at Hidden Shoal continues to play an integral role in promoting exciting new independent music.
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 30% discount. Flavoursome!
In 2009, Hidden Shoal continued to release stunning music from around the world, including debut Hidden Shoal albums from Hotels, HC-B, Tarcutta, Sleeping Me, City Of Satellites and Elisa Luu, sophomore albums from Jumpel and Wes Willenbring, a third album from Sankt Otten, and EPs from Stray Ghost and Down Review (a new collaboration between Arc Lab’s Medard Fischer and Near The Parenthesis’ Tim Arndt).
2009 was also notable for the release of our compilation album A Million Square Miles, a project endeavouring to showcase Western Australian talent to the US (the titular million square miles). After more than three years of sharing independent music far and wide, A Million Square Miles represented a key facet of the Hidden Shoal Recordings story. The album brings together a pair of tracks from each of the then eight WA-based artists on the Hidden Shoal roster: Mukaizake, Apricot Rail, Fall Electric, Glassacre, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, The Slow Beings and Tangled Star.
2009 also saw Hidden Shoal join forces with The Caribbean and Scott Solter in a single EP. This not only began a special relationship with the wonderful The Caribbean and created an ongoing avenue for them to release some of their more experimental offerings, but it also began the label’s relationship with Scott Solter, which eventually led us to Boxharp (Scott Solter and Wendy Allen).
HSR046: Jumpel Deuxieme Bureau
HSR047: Hotels Where Hearts Go Broke
HSR048: HC-B Soundcheck For A Missing Movie
HSR049: The Caribbean Scott Solter Re-Populates The Caribbean EP
HSR050: Sleeping Me Cradlesongs
HSR051: Tarcutta Tarcutta
HSR052: Tangled Star That Time EP
HSR053: Apricot Rail Apricot Rail
HSR054: Down Review From Here, For Anyone EP
HSR055: Sankt Otten Morgen Wieder Lustig
HSR056: Elisa Luu Chromatic Sigh
HSR057: Various artists A Million Square Miles
HSR058: Wes Willenbring Close, But Not Too Close
HSR059: Stray Ghost Each Paradise Is A Lost Paradise EP
HSR060: Mukaizake Unknown Knowns
HSR061: City Of Satellites Machine Is My Animal
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, during the month of May we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 35% discount. Flavoursome!
2008 saw the release of a fresh new raft of superb albums and EPs, including those by new signings The Slow Beings, Fall Electric and City Of Satellites from Australia, Ghost In The Water and Rich Bennett from the USA, and RL/VL from Ireland. HSR stalwarts Tangled Star, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, Iretsu, Slow Dancing Society and Sankt Otten all followed up with some of their most critically acclaimed work. And at the end of the year we released compilation album East–West Section, volume four in our free download series.
As acclaim for our artists spread internationally, we were delighted to hear that prominent New York radio host DJ Mojo dubbed the label “this generation’s 4AD”. As huge fans of the classic label, this was a massive and humbling compliment.
HSR031: Tangled Star Our Man In Eden Hill EP
HSR032: Toby Richardson Evergreen
HSR033: Ghost In The Water Tooth
HSR034: The Slow Beings We Know Why The Earth Moves
HSR035: Iretsu Name Our Numbers, Numbers EP
HSR036: Slow Dancing Society Priest Lake Circa ’88
HSR037: My Majestic Star Too Late, The Day
HSR038: Rich Bennett Music For Underwater Supermarkets
HSR039: Sankt Otten Eine Kleine Traurigkeit
HSR040: RL/VL Chagrin
HSR041: Fall Electric Measure And Step
HSR042: City Of Satellites The Spook EP
HSR043: Sankt Otten Tiefgang EP
HSR044: Ghost In The Water Cardinal Red EP
HSR045: Various artists East–West Section
Head over to the wonderful Headphone Commute and check out this exclusive Hidden Shoal mix. The mix features 16 tracks lovingly curated and sequenced from the Hidden Shoal catalogue by the label’s manager Cam Merton. Stream, download, enjoy!
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, during the month of May we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 40% discount. Flavoursome!
In 2007, Hidden Shoal pushed onward with a ridiculously full release schedule and tons of new signings. The label continued its expansion internationally with 2007 seeing releases from a diverse and beautiful spectrum of artists based in Germany (Sankt Otten and Jumpel), France (Beautiful Lunar Landscape), the US (Slow Dancing Society, The Hero Cycle, Iretsu, Wes Willenbring, Monocle), Belgium (Colour Kane) and Japan (Cheekbone, The Retail Sectors).
Locally, 2007 saw releases from ambient duo Moongoat, a new album from Chris Mason and an EP under his My Majestic Star moniker, plus an EP from Melbourne instrumental quartet Bury The Sound (with HSR’s Tim Clarke on guitar).
In May 2007 we were proud to celebrate our first birthday with the release of the second volume in our free download compilation series, The Garden of Forking Paths. And if that wasn’t enough, we saw out the end of the year with the release of a third compilation, Limit of Maps, rounding up tracks from the second half of 2007 and also featuring a sneak preview of a few 2008 releases, too.
However, perhaps the crowning achievement of a busy year was being named one of Textura’s 10 favourite labels of 2007. The feeling’s mutual – Textura is easily one of our favourite music sites. To be just one year in and be acknowledged like that felt like quite an honour.
HSR013: Moongoat Moongoat EP
HSR014: My Majestic Star Fining EP
HSR015: Sankt Otten Wir Koennen Ja Freunde Bleiben
HSR016: The Hero Cycle Lakes and Ponds EP
HSR017: Colour Kane A Taste Of
HSR018: Wes Willenbring Somewhere Someone Else
HSR019: Various artists The Garden of Forking Paths
HSR020: Bury The Sound Autumn Magnets EP
HSR021: Chris Mason Restless
HSR022: Jumpel Samuel Jason Lies on the Beach
HSR023: Cheekbone Yesterday EP
HSR024: Beautiful Lunar Landscape Alone in this Dark Romantic Night EP
HSR025: Iretsu The Moon and Stars Remain in the Morning Sky
HSR026: Slow Dancing Society The Slow and Steady Winter
HSR027: Monocle Outer Sunset
HSR028: The Retail Sectors Foregone Conclusion
HSR029: Sankt Otten Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder
HSR030: Various artists Limit of Maps
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, over the coming weeks we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases from the year covered will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 50% discount. Flavoursome!
Hidden Shoal Recordings began in Perth, Western Australia in May 2006. The motivation behind starting the label was to release music by Hidden Shoal’s very own Cam Merton (Glassacre), Stu Medley (Motor Eye) and Mal Riddoch (Enargeia). Friends Wayne Harriss, Chris Mason, Toby Richardson and Craig Hallsworth (Tangled Star) soon came on board, with the first swathe of Hidden Shoal releases dominated by Perth-based talent.
The first year of operation also saw the signing of our first international artists, Slow Dancing Society – who has since gone on to release four critically acclaimed albums– and Italian math-rockers Dilatazione.
HSR001: Wayne Harriss Aerospace
HSR002: My Majestic Star Ideas Are The Answer
HSR003: Motor Eye Motor Eye
HSR004: Chris Mason Up Down Up
HSR005: Glassacre Slow Attack EP
HSR006: Enargeia UFO: Stryker Force
HSR007: Toby Richardson Golden Days EP
HSR008: Various artists The Least Vestige of Land
HSR009: Enargeia Gulag! 25.9.98
HSR010: Slow Dancing Society The Sound Of Lights When Dim
HSR011: Dilatazione Too Emotional For Maths
HSR012: Tangled Star It’s Now or Later EP
Twelve releases in the first eight months? We started as we meant to continue!
“I am an unabashed Hidden Shoal fan. The Australian label has been pumping out releases of lush, cinematic aspirations of ambient and neo-classical artists for a better part of it’s existence that, at times, is overcome by its eclectic output ranging from conspiracy-punks to 90’s slowcore revivalists to every deriviation of weirdos (Australian and otherwise) in between. Long Distance Transmissions, however, is a surprisingly cohesive collection of sprawling ambient, electro-acoustic, post-classical and just about ever derivation (Australian and otherwise) of lushly produced, slightly melancholic, wordless music in between. Highlights include Markus Mehr’s Tim Hecker-meets-Heinz Riegler meditative distorted synth composition “Hubble, the chopped and glitched electro-acoustic number by Kryshe, the minor key minimalist techno of Cheekbone and the emotional heft of the 80’s nostalgia of Slow Dancing Society’s bubbling arpeggios and soundtrack-worthy dynamics. It makes sense that Hidden Shoal also exists as a licensing company, many of these compositions, if not already, seem to soundtrack some deeply resonant scenes in films (never made).”
Excerpt: “I am always ecstatic to see new emails and records from Hidden Shoal Recordings, a Perth, Western Australia-based label who have quickly become one of my favorite experimental music outposts over the past year. They consistently release adventurous ambient/drone, shoegaze and pop that is radiant and textured and expansive and dense with incandescent ticks from around the world.”
Excerpt: “I Haven’t Got It in Me is a hell of a consolidation. Both Mason and Braun sing this time, and “Crampling” and “City Sleeps” are both great verse/chorus/verse songs in a way that the band has never tried before. But the band’s instrumental prowess hasn’t declined—the surging “Hi” and the eight despondently cinematic minutes of opener “Stranger” are among their strongest work. From the soaring guitar scrapes of “Mitre Park” to “Take a Walk”‘s melancholy churn, I Haven’t Got It in Me is the work of a band completely comfortable with each other and with their sound. Combining elements of dream pop, post rock, and shoegaze, and with tips of the hat to everything from noise to ambient, My Majestic Star makes beautifully blurred rock music.”
Excerpt: “Perth-based post-shoegaze band My Majestic Star’s preceding impressive ‘Too Late, The Day’ collection saw the group evolve into a full live band for the first time…. Perhaps most immediately noticeable is that cellist Miriam Braun contributes vocals alongside Mason for the first time here, but overall there’s an increased feeling of rawness and live energy being harnessed, in comparison to their previous recorded work. ‘Stranger’ begins proceedings with a slow wash of languid live drums and ebbing organ tones before bleeding out into mournful cello tones, chiming guitars and droning feedback, in an opener that certainly hints towards The Dirty Three’s slow, relentless burn as it ascends towards its emotional crescendo…. In this case, the experience gained by My Majestic Star performing as a live act in support of their preceding collection goes a long way towards making ‘I Haven’t Got It In Me’ their most satisfying album to date.”
Excerpt (translated from the German): “A majestic, long-drawn sound, swelling, soft-onset synthetic drums, a seemingly endless organ sound. I Haven’t Got It In Me begins with an 8-minute dream of clouds… Voluptuous walls of guitars, melodic and dramatic landscapes and spherical sound effects of any kind achieve the goal of harmony and well-tempered satisfaction with the listener.”
Excerpt: “The album delivers fifty-one minutes of reverb-drenched vocal harmonies and raw guitars that may roar but not so loudly they conceal the fundamental elegance of the band’s material (the instrumentals “Mitre Peak” and “Dry Lakes” cases in point).The group opens I Haven’t Got It In Me boldly with a dramatic, eight-minute instrumental, “Stranger,” that’s elevated by Braun’s beautiful cello playing; hearing the instrument swim through the oceanic mass generated by the guitar is a wonder to behold, and the tune’s epic quality imbues its post-rock with a rather prog-like aura.”
Excerpt: “Their ouevre is post-shoegaze / nu-gaze or whatever you’d like to call it, with obvious nods to the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and particularly the Drop Nineteens. What stands them apart is Miriam Braun’s sympathetic cello playing. The instrument isn’t over-used, but shines when it leads the melodies rather than just being used as a background drone instrument. I Haven’t Got It In Me is a mixed bag of vocal tunes and instrumentals. It’s also a mixed bag of sonically adventurous pieces, and straightforward slowish indie-pop.
Excerpt: “Turn the clock back a few years and most people were convinced there was something in the water in WA because of the sheer number of excellent acts who called that piece of Australia home. Fast forward to 2010 and it seems our short attention spans have been diverted elsewhere in the search of the source of the ‘next big thing’. A Million Square Miles is a compilation…. Drawing together 16 tracks from eight artists, it successfully navigates the folk, indie pop and rock genres….A Million Square Miles is a pleasing and mellow offering that is easy-on-the-ear and reaffirms the fact that there is something in the water out west.”
Excerpt: “Formed around the talents of multi-instrumentalist Chris Mason, ‘I Haven’t Got It In Me’ is an often brilliant record which delivers on both an emotional and melodic level… Beginning with organ swell and percussion, ‘Stranger’ is a perfect way to introduce fifty minutes of warm melancholia. A rich beast in itself, the same track ends in beautiful layers of shoegaze effects and Miriam Braun’s mournful cello. Better still is ‘City Sleeps’, which is spine tingling as soon as Braun’s cello kicks in and the goose bumps are maintained when she teams up with Mason again on vocal duties. It’s a truly perfect song. [The record is] superbly produced and varied enough to keep fans of old and new dreampop very satisfied indeed.”
Excerpt: “The album opens with eerie keyboards, reminiscent of a church organ, as the atmospheric grooves of Stranger begin, and the beautiful sounds of the cello waft through the speakers…It climbs hills, and traverses valleys as it takes you by the hand and leads you on a lazy meander through ten diverse yet musically polished numbers that embrace the senses. The hauntingly beautiful sounds of the cello mark the beginning of City Sleeps. I love the sound of the cello; the mood it creates is perfectly at ease with this style of music. This is music to daydream to…”
My Majestic Star’s music is available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.