Recently, management at the office where I work has decided to make its employees implement the “5S” system. You’re welcome to click that link and do a little reading up on it if you want, but I can summarize the concept pretty quickly: 5S is a methodology for organizing an efficient work area that was developed by Japanese automakers in the 1980s and doubles as a convenient, passive-aggressive way for your boss to tell you to kindly “Clean up your shit, please.” Of course, at first I rebelled a little, but the more I shuffled old junk into the recycling bins, put little labels on my file folders, and got all the necessary job-related tools put ever-so-gingerly into their particular places for easy access, the more I could see the advantages. With your materials in good order, your brain can run with less friction. Things take less time, and ultimately, you’re just more productive. It’s hard to deny it. And the best part is, with all the time you’re saving not having to look around for your ruler or calculator, you can do other, arguably more productive things at work, like listen to tapes and write premiere posts for THEMAYS.
Likewise, THEMAYS is drone, organized. And as a result, it’s efficient and effective at its job. My boss would probably give THEMAYS a raise. The short works streaming below, pulled from a new tape release from this loose collective of San Francisco musicians (which includes members of the Exray’s and Window Twins) are prime examples of how the economy of ambient space employed by THEMAYS allows for a heightened focus on the stuff that makes drone or process music seem worth it — dynamics brightening up and breathing vibrant life into light piano work and wobbly, warbling, warming ambience. It’s all done with a clean, nimble ease to light a match under your neurons and get those endorphins delivered out in seismic waves of bliss to the places in your body you didn’t even realize you wanted them: hair follicles, fingernails, and the like. In short, THEMAYS is an ambient group that’s got its shit together.