Actually, we’re a little late to the Moment party, as YEDM covered Mike Masch’s recent multi-genre project Back to the Boulevard a couple of weeks ago, when technically In Time, the album he released under Moment, dropped first. That said, it it was good to do a profile on Masch himself and all his different projects first in some ways, because there’s a much longer story there. Now that said, how did we miss this super-cool hip hop album?
The aptly named In Time by moment released in early October and is the first comprehensive hip hop album Masch has done thus far. His work under the Mike Masch name is not quite as structured, combining elements of jazz, classical, pop, trip hop and more under an experimental composition style. His Moment work adheres to a hip hop or trap tempo and a beat structure. Listeners will still find lashings of jazz and chill trip hop vibes, as well as the odd classical flourish, but we are very much in the hip hop and trap wheelhouse with In Time.
The other major difference between Masch and Masch as Moment is that for the most part, Masch opts not to have vocals in his more experimental work. In Time, on the other hands, isn’t just a load of hip hop and trap instrumental beats, and if you’re like us here at YEDM and found Masch before Moment, you might have never known he’s also a rapper. With a chill vocal timbre that in some tracks is a whisper, Masch’s lyrical arrangements are as diverse as his compositional style, ranging from basic 80s old school to faster 70s “Rappers Delight“-style faster flows to stuff that’s influenced by more avant-garde rappers like E40.
Dieversity in everything seems to be Masch’s motto, and there’s plenty of it on In Time even with the more structured beat arrangements. The album opens with “Moment In Time,” which has a pretty simle 80s-style beat but the jazzy trumpet musicality and R&B interludes that were favored by hip hop artists in the mid-to-late-90s (think Digable Planets meets En Vogue). Other tracks like “Party on ME” seem like they’ll be equally old school and jazzy, but Masch’s vocals are much more early 2000s. Around the middle of the album, things take a more emotional turn with tracks like “TOUGHer LOVE” and “ReAwakened Invasion.” Masch himself has said the need to create moment was about expressing emotions.
The inspiration behind this album was to show a much broader range of not just musical production & ability but myself as a person in this world. So many different emotions, feelings & experiences mixed together to tell many handfuls of stories…It’s real, it’s authentic, it releases and frees. I know when others listen to it that they will understand this as I do.
While Masch and many other instrumental artists have been able to connote an amazing amount of emotion with no words (EDM is pretty much built on that premise, after all), sometimes we need words to express things even more clearly. Masch clearly felt this need and just happened to create a pretty epic hip hop album out of it. With the tmiless quality to his work, it really doesn’t matter when we discovered each project, because with good music it’s always the right Moment In Time.