Experimental Synth-Pop Project Tra$h Magnolia Explores Power and Gender in “Video Game Song”

Tra$h Magnolia, the brainchild and alter-ego of jazz vocalist and producer Sasha Masakowski, brings forth bold, adventurous sonic explorations combining elements of dreamy synth-pop and electronic art-rock.

“Video Game Song”, inspired by a friend who had seduced her boss in order to gain power in the workplace, plays on gender norms, sexuality, and power: “I wanted the track to feel like a working woman’s power anthem- women embracing their sexuality and using it to get what they want from weak men in positions of power,” says Masakowski.

The kink-flavoured music video, directed by Thomas Lowery, was clandestinely filmed with a Craigslist dominatrix and a hastily-assembled camera crew in Lowry’s high-end office firm in midtown Manhattan. The story behind the filming is a fascinating tale:

“We arrived at 8:00 pm and wrapped as the sun came up,” says Masakowski. “In the video, I attempt to seduce my money-hungry boss into signing a contract escalating me to president of the company. After a failed attempt, I come back with a crew in latex and leather to take off his clothes, hog-tie him on top of his desk, throw money all over him, and force him into agreeing to my terms and conditions, so to speak.”

The video features a gender reveal plot twist, nodding to the rise of feminine power in a man’s world. Altogether it feels faintly reminiscent of the 1982 cult film Liquid Sky.

Watch the video for “Video Game Song” below::

This six-track debut EP, entirely self-produced and arranged, was mixed and mastered by Jay Wesley (Alex Ebert, Beach House).

Sasha Masakowski is a familiar figure in the jazz scene, having performed as Tra$h Magnolia at notable clubs such as Blue Note NYC, Brooklyn Bowl, and Kennedy Center (D.C.), and at festivals such as NYC Winter Jazz Fest, Nublu Jazz Festival (NYC), JaiThep festival (Chiang Mai, Thailand) and Aarhus Lydkunst Festival (Denmark).

Photo: Chotika Watanajung

This album redirects the jazz influence straight into the stratosphere, exploring gender and sexuality dynamics through sonic experimentation and unusual instrumentation. The forthcoming EP features synthesist Jason Lindner (David Bowie, Donny McCaslin) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Germaine Bazzle).

Find Exist on Bandcamp or Spotify.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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