20 Oct 2020
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Social Shun - Album Review: 7/10 of A Fridge

29 Sep 2020 // A review by Mike Alexander

It’s always eye-opening when you come across an artist for the first time and discover that they already have a body of work that’s never been on your radar.

Such is the case with Waikato-based sound explorer and experimentalist Jason Longhurst aka Social Shun, who has released a steady stream of albums – five in all – since The Garden of Sweden in 2014.

And yet a Google search reveals little about Social Shun – almost as if the background details of his life are inconsequential or are simply not relevant to what informs his music.

His modus operandi is well defined in this Bandcamp post: "Formed to voice free thought with no boundaries or care for what anyone thought. To be true and express one's self without restriction or shackles of one genre."

Certainly, to an initiate to his music, like me, 7/10 of A Fridge rings true to those ideals.

It inhabits its own peculiar universe – strange, complex, chaotic, nebulous and at times both reassuring and unsettling.

The opening track Undone conjures up images of the celestial with a delicate looping pulse that nags away as if trying to active a deeply buried memory. A constant background hum suggests the distant sound of the sea as it gives rise to a wistful vocal from Emily Riordan and is accentuated by delicately understated strings. It has the feel of a lucid dream, where the dreamer of the dream knows they are dreaming but isn’t ready to wake up. Perhaps, it’s a metaphor for the times we are in.

Serenity forges further into the sea of consciousness. It’s dark and ominous in parts. A steady rhythm gives a sense of momentum while various clicks and beats define a surreal landscape that’s more void than open space.

Somewhat Sleeping, which echoes the vocal line "I can’t make the dreams go away", and The Middle Yet To The Left, rumble and crackle with explosive energy. Sirens wail on the latter as form emerges from the chaos. The dream has now become a nightmare.

The curiously titled Hmmmm It Tastes Like Garlic Bread (13 Second Mix) is a percussive alphabet soup of distorted noises, electronic swirls and twisted snatches of indecipherable voice messages.

There is a kind of calm after the storm. ICE goes into various stages of stasis after some scattergun rhythmic mayhem and industrial noise but you are left with more questions than answers. Has the dream gone away or has it just been buried deeper?

Social Shun challenges the way we conceive, perceive and resonate with sound and that perhaps serves as a useful metaphor for life itself – what we perceive is the effect of the meaning we have given to what we conceive or believe.

Having been initiated into his world by 7/10 of A Fridge, I’m inspired to explore further.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Social Shun

Social Shun became official after releasing tracks on Reverbnation in 2011 but He has been mucking round with music software and instruments for nine years.

Social Shun is a solo project and was made to release pain, stress, anger, boredom and frustration of day to day living in a positive creative way. The straight forward approach to music and lyrics is key, Promoting honesty and freedom of speech in a raw, direct, in your face fashion. Not shackled to one Genre Social Shun infuses many different aspects and vibes of music.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Social Shun

Releases

What Is Music
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Songs For Sea Lions
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Big Gorilla
Year: 2015
Type: Album
The Garden Of Sweden
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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