Dublin-based multi-instrumentalist Mark Sheridan has debuted his new solo project Shork which should catch the attention of electronic music enthusiasts who love active multi-layered music with astral ambiance, fat basslines, and catchy yet simple grooves that lock in all entities of the track. Shork’s freshmen album is fittingly titled The Universe as it takes you on a journey through many unique sonic destinations. Before Shork, Sheridan could be found as the bassist and backing vocalist in the Dublin-based five-piece indie and electronic rock band Witchita. With early musical influences that include Daft Punk, Radiohead, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheridan has found a knack for incorporating tidbits from these groups into the new avant-garde sound of his solo project debut album Shork – The Universe.
The first track on Shork – The Universe is titled Tether and it immediately sets the narrative of celestial travel with its opening ethereal pads and distant vocalizing choirs that are present throughout the entire song as the practice of polyphony constantly introduces new sonic fronts to the listener with each stop along the way. A simple and dry groove joins in soon after the introduction which is also present for the remainder of the track. Tether has an early climax consisting of an exciting melodic percussion ensemble segment that possibly signifies a busy destination. Denim, the album’s second track continues the multilayered journey with unique pads and moving synth loops along with warm and fat basslines setting the background for its voice drop focus. The third track on The Universe is a more tranquil vocal-based song titled The Blind. The background to the song’s vocals provided by David Bridgeman, consists of looping piano runs up and down the keyboard, and as the song progresses more layers continue to build on top of it. The Daft Punk influence can be heard in the distorted vocal effects used midway through The Blind as they resemble the same effects Daft Punk used on their song One More Time. The vocals of Bridgeman are also featured on the seventh track of The Universe titled Crush.
The fourth track titled Transit does a great job of portraying public transportation through its many moving and pulsing layers representing the vehicle’s motion while various layers of ambience provide the scenes going on around the passengers. Reverie is the final track on The Universe and it is also the longest track on the album that again takes you to various sonic destinations opening with a calm strummed acoustic guitar setting that then transitions to a pulsing synth and simple drum groove full of exotic and heavenly sounding vocalizations and pitched percussion melodies. The sonic destinations continue to change throughout the song’s length which goes over seven minutes. It is the change of scenery and the emotions each destination brings about for the listener that makes the album appealing which is again why we feel that The Universe, the debut album from Shork, should turn some heads in the electronic music scene.