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Live Review: PREMIERE: MSH explores deep introspection with 'At Extremespeed'/'House Of Wrong Bodies'

3 July 2018 | 9:31 am | Caitlin Medcalf

Something that I've come to learn about the creative process, is that it is both rewarding and damning. Not only that, but with each artist comes a different manifestation and approach to the creative process, and this is something that MSH emphasises wholly within their project.

Pronounced “mesh”, MSH is the project of Michael Stratford Hutch, a Hobart-born, Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist. 

For this project, they've committed to putting out a track a month from March to November. All of these are works in progress and have been created by MSH almost solely electronically. They're rough around the edges, but the beauty of this project is in its nuances and the ideas delivered.

The project draws from diverse sonic traditions such as trip hop, RnB, neo-soul, experimental pop and contemporary jazz. Each song represents a shift that needs to occur within the self, according to a non-binary, decolonial agenda of greater communal change. Identifying as non-binary and queer, this greatly informs their creative practices. 

The record, '(sic)', is essentially a process piece. The project will continue to develop as it's released, with MSH workshopping and developing the project into full electro-acoustic pieces with the aim to translate these tracks into a live setting with an ensemble. Once the final single has been released, all nine tracks will be replaced by the completed project through streaming services and physical media.

We're so excited to be premiering two of these tracks from MSH today.

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'At Extremespeed' is the first, and is the most new-wave reminiscent track released so far. The instrumental hook satisfies the pop elements in this one, and works hard to compliment the crispness of the percussion. Their vocals croon effortlessly over these tones, and come together for a wholistic, damn catchy track.

'House Of Wrong Bodies' follows up 'At Extremespeed', and explores more tender, electronic soundscapes, complimented by an epic, layered buildup of a few different vocal lines. This one feels particularly reminiscent of Alt-J in the sense that each vocal line brings its own presence and also has such purpose.

The commonality between the two singles really ties them back to the two already-released singles within this project, and it's really coming together as something beautiful and totally whole. What's most apparent about this project as a whole, is the vision MSH has.

Each sound is careful and each melody is thoughtful. The way they've used their vocals as something more than just a voice, but with instrumental purpose, adds something totally real to this and allows me to envision just how this live show would come together.

MSH is on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Image by Risky Ridge

Words by Caitlin Medcalf