Release Date : May 6th 2008
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast
Release Date : May 9th 2006
The Civil War
Release Date : September 23rd 2003
A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure
Release Date : March 13th 2001
Release Date : April 4th 2000
Release Date : April 4th 2000
- A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure - - 2001-03-13
- The Civil War - - 2003-09-23
- The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast - - 2006-05-09
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast
The new album from Matmos finds the dynamic duo taking a holiday from conceptual responsibility, skipping the outré sampling antics in favor of a lighthearted "cosmic pop" record made entirely out of synthesizers. Leave it toMatmos to invent a hard and fast rule that they have to follow even when they're just having fun: the creative restriction this time around is that Supreme Balloon is an ALL synthesizer album and no microphones were used at any point.
That's right, no household objects played in a percussive manner, no snails or blood or amplified semen, no acoustic instruments, no voices of famous people for five seconds, not even any half-way cheating with Vocoders, just synthesizers of all shapes, sizes, eras and nationalities being snipped, folded and reshuffled by an arsenal of samplers and computers into colorful sound-origami.
Gear fetishists take note: the exotic and antiquated synths used on the record heavily spotlight the classic 60s/70s/80s consumer electronic rigs of Arp, Korg, Roland, Waldorf and Moog, and feature modular systems from Electro-Comp, Doepfer and Akai (hell, even a stylophone and a Suzuki Omnichord show up); these were recorded at home in San Francisco, California and in the SnowGhost studio at Whitefish, Montana. But there are also completely unique, one-of-a-kind modular curios present, such as the "Coupigny" modular synthesizer housed in the INA/GRM studios at Radio France in Paris and used extensively by some of the titans of musique-concrete.
Guest players invited to the party include living treasure of American jazz Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra (he plays the E.V.I. or Electronic Voice Instrument, a breath controlled oscillator, on "Mister Mouth"), Bay Area troublemakers Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly), East Coast electroacoustic sages Jay Lesser and Keith Fullerton Whitman, and classically trained pianist Sarah Cahill.
Though it was recorded all over the world over the last two years, the whole shebang was finished in Baltimore, Maryland (the band's new home, at least as long as Drew Daniel is a professor in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University), and comes encased in some truly gorgeous watercolor artwork by Robert Syrett.
To break it down: the album drops with a bumpin' front end of four rhythmic workouts (perky, stomping, toe-tapping, and shuffling, respectively) that coach Perrey & Kingsley and 8-bit video game music and kitsch Latin Moogsploitation into some freaky positions. Then things take a classy European vacation in which the baroque composer Francois Couperin's "Les Folies Francaises" is given the Wendy Carlos treatment. Then the band turn a corner into unexpected, ambitious new territory and things swell to a truly ridiculous/heroic climax.
The jewel in the crown is the album's title track, a 24 minute monster synth jam that builds from a lone Roland SH-101 wobbling your sub-woofers into a celestial, psychedelic epic whose spiraling arpeggios recall the sidelong LP-era mind-journeys of Cluster, Mother Mallard and Vangelis. Riding an insistent tabla pattern courtesy of a "Taal Mala" drum machine from India, warm, bubbling layers of analogue synthesis, and the chattering and chirping of MAX patches shaking hands with boutique EFX pedals, it's a long strange trip indeed. Things cool down with an ambient air kiss and it's over.
We know you're probably shaking your head and thinking to yourself, "an electronic band makes an all-electronic album? These guys must be CRAZY." And you'd be right. Consider this revenge for all those Queen records whose liner notes said "And nobody played the synthesizer!", and a sweet surprise from a truly unpredictable American band.Matmos are Drew Daniel and M. C. Schmidt. www.brainashed.com.matmos www.matadorrecords.com/matmos
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast
“These digital-age surrealists have birthed a musical hybrid all their own” –Alternative Press
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast is the new record by San Francisco duo Matmos. It is a series of "sound portraits" of a pantheon of people that they admire. A musical attempt at biography, it’s loose in some places and very literal in others; taken as a suite of stylistically disparate songs, you get a kind of fractured family album, a historical pageant. It's at once Matmos’s most melodic and most conceptual record.
Matmos read their biographies and re-enacted events from their lives, making songs out of the sounds of the re-enactments. They gathered objects that were important to these people, made noises with them, and built melodies out of the noises. Sometimes the songs are just a tight focus on one detail (the Wittgenstein song is just an exploded view of a single paragraph from his text "Philosophical Investigations") and sometimes they revisit one event from their life (the King Ludwig II song re-enacts the incident in which he ordered dinner to be served to his favorite horse inside his castle's Hall of Mirrors with disastrous results). Sometimes they depict their subject abstractly: the Darby Crash song is dark electronics made out of the sound of Drew Daniel crying out in pain getting burned by the Germs’ Don Bolles, combined with the noise of M.C. Schmidt shaving his head. The Patricia Highsmith song was made as a collaboration with her favorite animal, the snail (they aimed a laser at a light sensitive theremin, and then got snails to crawl across the path of the laser, triggering changes in the theremin's pitch).
Voices are more prominent on this record; there are guest vocals and cameo speeches by Antony, Kalonica McQuesten, Laetitia Sonami, Maja Ratjke, Bjork, and others.
'The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast' is accompanied by ten specially commissioned works of portraiture by such visual artists as Dan Clowes, Jason Mecier, and Michael Bernard Loggins, that depict the subjects of each song.
Matmos is M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. They make music out of the sounds of objects, animals, people, and actions. They have collaborated with Rachel's, So Percussion, Jay Lesser, Alter Ego, People Like Us, Kronos Quartet and Bjork. They have shared stages with Slint and Wolf Eyes, remixed Foetus and Erase Errata (and many others), taught seminars on sound art at Harvard University and the San Francisco Art Institute, and DJed at proms for homeless teenagers. They have had pieces in the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, did a 17-day live performance at the Yerba Buena Museum of Contemporary Art in San Francisco, and have scored the soundtracks for five gay porn films, one pinball machine, and one NASCAR television commercial.
Discography, info, news, tour dates, and more available at Matmos’s web site: http://brainwashed.com/matmos.
The Civil War
'The Civil War' is the new album by San Francisco electronic duo Matmos. A hallucinatory double exposure of medieval English folk and 19th century Americana, The Civil War finds Matmos experimenting with a dramatically different palette from their critically acclaimed exploration of medical technology 'A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure'. Though there's nary a scalpel in sight, their humorous cut-up sensibility and willingness to take risks remains intact. In a time when most electronic artists seem desperate to ape the sounds of 1983 as closely as possible, Matmos have tried to make the 2003 version of the 1990 version of the 1968 version of the 1860 version of the 1590s. Across the nine tracks on 'The Civil War', production styles and instrumentation keep telescoping backwards and projecting forwards, producing weirdly anachronistic dialogues: medieval jigs and reels joust against country and western twang, and pastoral acoustic folk gets pistolwhipped by crisp digital editing techniques.
A guerilla assault on rock, folk, and country maneuvers, 'The Civil War' keeps lines of communication open across genres and periods. If the opener "Regicide"'s keening hurdy gurdy recalls the Incredible String Band's psychedelic medievalism,the ambling piano line of "For the Trees" sounds like a distant cousin of honky tonk pianist Floyd Cramer's swooning instrumentals. Songs mutate and reverse direction: "Y.T.T.E" starts with tumbling big band drums that recall Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life", gatecrashes a Boredoms drumcircle, lilts into Chet Atkins twang, and finally scuttles to a close in minimalist soundfile manipulation. Deceptively "pretty" on the surface, it's music that struggles against itself and occasionally collapses, breaking down into amorphous skeins of noise, dissolving into raw field recordings of cicadas in the trees and Fourth of July fireworks, and, in "Pelt and Holler", unexpectedly jump-cutting to total silence. While much of this album's focus on untreated and close mic-ed acoustic instruments suggest a pickin' session on a Southern porch, the mellowness is peppered with peaks of scaldingly bright and extreme sonics. On this recording M. C. Schmidt and guest member Keith Fullterton Whitman (aka Hrvatski) had the opportunity to use one of the original Serge modular synthesizers built by Ivan Tcherepnin; its piercing squeals ricochet across the military drumrolls of "Reconstruction".
As their compositional appetite grew more ambitious and expansive, Matmos decided to bring in more musically gifted reinforcements from across America. Among others, Steve Goodfriend and Jim Putnam of Radar Bros. sit in on drums and guitar respectively, Jay Lesser plucked the dobro, Tim Barnes offered drum source samples, improv guitar manipulator Keenan Lawler ventured into the sewer pipes of Louisville, Kentucky for a subterranean steel guitar recording, fellow Louisville alumnus David Grubbs contributed piano, with a little coaxing Blevin Blectum added violin, and, providing the lion's share of guest contributions, Mark Lightcap (formerly of Acetone, now playing with Hope Sandoval) played tuba, peck horn, banjo, and heaps of electric and acoustic guitar. That said, Matmos' trademark ear for highly unorthodox sample sources endures: "Pelt and Holler" is made almost entirely out of the sound of a rabbit pelt, while "The Struggle Against Unreality Begins" features the sound of the blood in M. C. Schmidt's carotid artery.
Balancing baroquely detailed production against passages of stark single-instrument simplicity, Matmos have pushed themselves in an unexpected, and surprisingly tuneful, new direction. Part Canterbury tale and part Southern Gothic, 'The Civil War' eludes easy categories but rewards careful listening, responding to present tensions with historical imagination and sly wit.
Matmos is M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. They have toured with Lesser, Labradford, The Rachels and Bjork, shared stages with Terry Riley and Wire, remixed The Melvins and Otomo Yoshihide (and most recently Erase Errata), and are still working on an ongoing collaborative project with The Kronos Quartet. They have taught seminars on sound art at Harvard University and DJed at proms for homeless teenagers. They have had pieces in the Whitney Museum of American Art, and have scored the soundtracks for five gay porn films. They are currently on tour with Bjork, and in November they are scheduled to present their first installation at the Yerba Buena Museum of Contemporary Art in San Francisco.
This is Matmos’ fifth studio album.
Complete discography at:http://brainwashed.com/matmos/discog/index.html
More fun at:
A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure
Following the critical success of their last full-length The West, San Francisco-based electronic duo Matmos push their rhythmic collage tendencies even further on their Matador debut, sidestepping that record’s pastoral orientation in favor of an electro cut-up concept album that samples recordings of plastic surgery and medical technology.
After gaining the trust and cooperation of surgeons and patients, the band was allowed to record in operating rooms and clinics. Back in the studio, Matmos performed surgery of their own upon the sounds they had gathered, building rhythms from the clanks, rasps and snips of the scalpel, kick drums from the sound of bones being broken, and rich drones from the buzz of human skin conducting electricity through acupuncture points.
Matmos members M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel (both doctors’ sons) felt that a “dark” record would be too easy to make out of such Grand Guignol content. Instead, they make surprisingly approachable, quasi-pop music by combining these extremist sound sources with drums and guitars played by some of the crew from The West (Steve Goodfriend of Radar Bros./For Carnation, Mark Lightcap of Acetone). The result is challenging sound art that you can tap your toes to.
“Lipostudio (And So On...)” pairs the shuffling, squelching sound of human fat being sucked during liposuction surgery with squalls of clarinet played by Stephen Thrower (currently of Cyclobe, formerly of Coil), only to shift mid-song into a stripped-down, melodic quasi-rock song that drifts “West”-ward, complete with guest voices from a galaxy of the US electronic scene’s glitchiest (Kid 606, Lesser, Blectum, Hrvatski). No puns about “fat” beats, please.
After a lengthy opening blast of electrical interference, “L.A.S.I.K.” turns into click-happy electro scored for the sounds of laser eye surgery, complete with encouragement from the doctor and drugged murmurs from the patient, a willing participant and friend of the band.
Turning an audiologist testing deaf children into an unlikely house diva, “Spondee” makes directly for the dancefloor (complete with horns, steady 4/4 kicks and a ConFunkShun-esque handclap) only to ooze into lazy twang and end with sinus-scouring full frequency sweeps and a murky lecture on the anatomy of the cochlea.
The tranquil melodic ambience of “For Felix” massages you couchward, then swerves into jittery improv played entirely upon the bowed and plucked bars of a rat cage, memorializing the bands deceased pet while evoking the broader context of laboratory animal research.
With its distorted fog of theremin-esque tone clouds and vaudeville skiffle action, “Memento Mori” would be totally scary funk even if it wasn’t fashioned out of a human skull.
The album closes with the epic “California Rhinoplasty” in which a nose flute slinks across intricate layers of nose job samples and warm tonal waves are generated by the electric hum of muscle tissue being cauterized.
As a theme (did someone say concept album here?) “medical technology” proves to be loose enough to include a wide variety of sounds, while nonetheless tying together this unusual suite of songs into a unified meditation on science, the body, mortality and other dancefloor-friendly topics. A Chance to Cut is A Chance to Cure shows the band at the height of their powers, making ambitious and distinctly new music from an unexpected source.
Matmos has remixed Bjork, Kid 606, and Otomo Yoshihide, toured with Lesser, Labradford and Rachel’s, and is currently working with Bjork, Matthew Herbert and the Kronos Quartet on collaborative projects.
There’s a lot of lip service paid these days to various electronic-based music being “experimental” — but Matmos’ musical practice genuinely deserves this much abused term. Using samplers, analogue keyboards, field recordings and guitars, Matmos make atmospheric, idiosyncratic electronica. In addition to incorporating chance operations into their sequencing enviroment, many songs are based upon a working methodology of “conceptual restriction” — songs are built entirely out of samples from a single sound source: field recordings, contact microphones on hair, even the sound of an amplified synapse from crayfish nerve tissue. Sometimes these samples and recordings are built up into elaborate rhythmic sequences verging on (but tweaking) the by-now familiar subgenres of trip hop, drum and bass and electro; sometimes these sound sources are kept beat-free, and sculpted into frighteningly noisy atmospheres, or shot through with eerie silent pauses and gaps.
Based in San Francisco, Matmos is Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt. The band members biographies reflect their brainy, decentered approach to electronica - daniel is currently getting his PhD; Schmidt helps manage the conceptual art department of the San Francisco Art Institute. Daniel is a veteran of the indie rock scene in Louisville, Kentucky, and has collaborated on film soundtracks and, oddly enough, hip hop projects with Jeff Mueller (of June of ’44) and Jason Noble (Rachel’s). In addition to radio DJing, drew has DJed in jungle and trip hop clubs in england and San Francisco and has been making experimental electronic music since high school. M.C. Schmidt has been making experimental electronic music for many years, as the leader of avant-garde drone outfit X/I and industrial occultists Iaocore, in which he did time with current members of Amber Asylum and Tipsy.
News From The Matablog
Unconfirmed reports that Penny the dog is also appearing. Our good friends Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel are playing in London tonight as part of Antony's Meltdown, held at the Southbank centre. In their own words, the performance will be accompanied by "our Baltimore pals Owen Gardner and Sam Haberman (Horse Lords, Pleasure Wizard, Teeth Mtn, etc.) and o F F Love will also perform." Tickets are still available HERE and also at the Box Office door tonight. The new Matmos EP, 'The Ganzfeld' comes out in October on Thrill Jockey.
So, the time of Primavera and ATP festival (sadly their last ever May weekender) rolls around again and a ton of our bands decide it'd also be a good time to visit our (at the moment, rather sunny) shores. Just like last year. With 3 European tours starting over this weekend, plus more to come over the next we have the following shows taking place over the next 25 days..... (though I'm not sure how much Golf they'll have time for) Esben and the Witch 9th – Manufaktur, Schorndorf, Germany 10th – Mascotte, Zurich, Switzerland 11th – Spazio 211, Turin, Italy 12th – Circolo degli Artisti, Rome, Italy 13th – Plastic, Milan, Italy 14th – Covo, Bologna, Italy 16th – Palace, St Gallen, Switzerland 17th – Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany 18th – Doornroosje, Groningen, Netherlands 19th – Bitterzoet Club, Amsterdam, Netherlands 20th – Rotown, Rotterdam, Netherlands 21st – Charlatan, Ghent, Belgium 22nd – Les Nuits Botanique (Orangerie), Brussels, Belgium 24th – Gleiss 22, Munster, Germany 25th – Karlstorbahnhof, Heidleburg, Germany 26th – Atomic Cafe, Munich, Germany 27th – B72, Vienna, Austria 28th – Seewiesen Festival, Linz, Austria 29th – K4, Nurnberg, Germany Kurt Vile (& The Violators) 8th : King Georg, Koln 9th : Feierwerk, Munich (+ O’Death) 10th : Chelsea Club, Vienna 11th : Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin 12th : Vega (Small Hall), Copenhagen 13th : Voxhall, Aarhus 14th : All Tomorrow’s Parties. Minehead (curated by Animal Collective) 15th : Tivoli, Utrecht 16th : Bitterzoet, Amsterdam 17th : Les Nuits de Botanique (Rotunde), Brussels 18th : Charlatan, Gent 19th : Rough Trade East, London (free in-store, 1pm) 19th :
Corsica Studio, LondonSOLD OUT 20th : Kazimier, Liverpool (Sound City) 21st : Captain’s Rest, Glasgow (Stag and Dagger Festival) 22nd : The Hope, BrightonSOLD OUT 23rd : La Maroquinerie, Paris 24th : L’Abordage, Evreux 25th : Place Saint Michel, Bordeaux 26th : Top of the Folk @ L’antipode, Rennes 28th : Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona 29th : Ghetto, Istanbul June 29th : Vega, Groningen 30th : Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg Fucked Up 6th – White Rabbit, Plymouth – UK (tickets) 7th – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – UK (tickets) *MATINEE SHOW 7th – The Croft, Bristol – UK 8th – Institue, Birmingham – UK 9th – The Well, Leeds – UK 10th – Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh – UK (tickets) 11th – The Cluny, Newcastle – UK (tickets) 12th – Future Sonic – Sound Control, Manchester – UK 13th – Vera, Gronigen – Netherlands (tickets) 14th – 013 Small Hall, Tilburg – Netherlands 15th – Melkweg, Amsterdam – Netherlands (tickets) 16th – Festaal Kreuzberg, Berlin – Germany (tickets) 17th – Underground, Cologne – Germany (tickets) 18th – Batofar, Paris – France 19th – Trix, Antwerp – Belgium (tickets) 20th – Stag and Dagger @ Village Underground, London – UK (tickets) 21st – Liverpool Sound City @ Kazimir, Liverpool – UK (tickets) Perfume Genius 14 – Sheffield City Hall (Grand Ballroom), Sheffield 15 – Bodega, Nottingham (tickets) 16 – Bush Hall, London (tickets) 17 – The Kings Arms, Manchester (tickets) 18 – The Sugar Club, Dublin (tickets) 20 – Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels (tickets) 21 – De Duif Church, Amsterdam (tickets) 28 – Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona Glasser 26th - Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona, Spain - Pitchfork stage Thurston Moore 28th - Paris, France - Le Grande Halle (Villette Sonique Festival) *playing a non-Demolished Thoughts set 29th - Brussels, Belgium - AB Concerts *playing a Demolished Thoughts based set 30th - London, UK - Union Chapel *playing a Demolished Thoughts based set even the alumni are getting in on the act.... Matmos 14/05/11 Glasgow (UK), Old Fruitmarket 15/05/11 Birmingham (UK), MAC Art Centre * 16/05/11 Dublin (IE), Button Factory * 17/05/11 Belfast (UK), SARC * 19/05/11 London (UK), Auto-Italia * 21/05/11 Milano (IT), Leoncavallo (new venue!) * 23/05/11 Rome (IT), Circolo degli Artisti * 24/05/11 Bologna (IT), Scuderia (new venue!) * 26/05/11 Paris (FR), La Gaite Lyrique * 27/05/11 Brussels (BE), VK *# 28/05/11 Metz (FR), Les Trinitaires * 29/05/11 Berlin (DE), Hau1 * 30/05/11 Leipzig (DE), Centraltheater * * w/ John Wiese # w/ Oval Yo La Tengo Fast forward to June and they're here to bring the 'Spin The Wheel' tour to the UK. So if you live in Europe and none of those shows come by somewhere near you, well, its probably time to up sticks and move.
San Francisco's best dressed men, Matmos, return to Europe this May with Mr J. Lesser in tow. 14/05/11 Glasgow (UK), Old Fruitmarket 15/05/11 Birmingham (UK), MAC Art Centre * 17/05/11 Belfast (UK), SARC * 18/05/11 Dublin (IE), Button Factory * 19/05/11 London (UK), Auto-Italia * 21/05/11 Torino (IT), Museum Arte Contemporanea Rivoli * 23/05/11 Rome (IT), Circolo degli Artisti * 24/05/11 Bologna (IT), Locomotiv * 26/05/11 Paris (FR), La Gaite Lyrique * 27/05/11 Brussels (BE), VK *# 28/05/11 Metz (FR), Les Trinitaires * 29/05/11 Berlin (DE), Hau1 * (date swapped with Leipzig) 30/05/11 Leipzig (DE), Centraltheater * (date swapped with Berlin) * w/ John Wiese # w/ Oval And if you ever wondered what the basement of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel's Baltimore home looks like, then skip the car commercials and have a look at their Electric Independence.
Even though we'd been convinced that all that slaving away at the myriad marketing gimmicks, "promo opportunities" and general suffering we put bands through would leave us with some very exhausted talent, it turns out that these guys just can't stop doing thangs... read on to see what some of our beloved have been up to.
Though she's on tour with the New Pornographers, as we speak, Kathryn Calder just put the finishing touches on her new solo record. On August 11 the world'll be treated to 'Are You My Mother?' which features an all-star band featuring Neko, Kurt and Todd from The New Pornographers and a handful of other Canadian musical luminaries. Check File Under: Music for more info.
Mogwai will be releasing the pretty stunning looking live LP entitled, 'Special Moves' to coincide with the release of their first live film 'Burning', which was filmed in Brooklyn during the band's tour in support of 'The Hawk Is Howling' in April of 2009. Check Mogwai's site for info on ordering the record and where you can catch screenings of 'Burning'.
Dead Meadow shot by 3mmet
Matmos and So Percussion shot by maggiemoo1Matmos' Drew Daniel and Martin Schmitt have teamed up with So Percussion on a collaboration entitled 'Treasure State' -- expect to have your mind twisted on July 8. Cantaloupe Records sez: "The record had a complex gestation period: at the invitation of Brett Allen, the members of Matmos and So Percussion went to the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana-- the Treasure State which gives the album its title-- and collaboratively generated the bulk of the songs. San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos' M. C. Schmidt, "fifth" So Percussion member and producer Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results." There's a handful of live dates, to boot!
Not sure exactly how we spaced on this one, but as always, the Matablog is to roster news what Tom Scholz is to Boston albums. VERY LATE BUT WELL-INTENTIONED. From Brainwashed.com : It may be a bit short to call a tour - a "tourette", perhaps? - but our European friends will be happy to know that Matmos will be over there very soon for a few performances: MAY 22 - Paris, FR @ Cafe de la Danse 23 - Bergen, NO @ Bergen International Festival 26 & 27 - London, UK @ Village Underground (see below for details) 29 - Verona, IT @ Interzona 30 - Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv 31 - Foligno (Perugia), IT @ Young Jazz in Town Festival JUNE 1 - Zagreb, HR @ Kset Club 2 - Beograd (Belgrade), RS @ Rex MATMOS AND LONDON CONTEMPORARY ORCHESTRA Hugh Brunt, Conductor Supported by Sarah Nicolls and Micromattic Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 May 2009, 8.00pm Village Underground, Shoreditch An adventurous collaboration between musical worlds is headlined by one of the giants of the electronic music scene, Matmos, performing with members of the LCO on material from Supreme Balloon arranged by the young composer Anna Meredith. In the hands of pianist Sarah Nicolls, that most familiar of instruments becomes augmented and reinvented for the 21st century, a bespoke contraption pushing at the boundaries of performance. LCO's first commission of the season comes from Howard Quin and Micromattic, a thrilling audio-visual installation integrating live performance, electronic soundtracks and fractal animation. Tickets available online or via Barbican Box Office: 020 7638 8891
Matmos, currently touring North America in support of their most recent LP/CD, 'Supreme Balloon', will be playing at Chicago's Permanent Records on July 26. We hope you can attend. Not in lieu of the show at the Lakeshore Theatre or anything, but preferably, both.
7/10/08--Matmos on KUSF
(Live in Prague 6/18/08 - Photo via Félix Adorno's Flickr page)
Tomorrow (Friday, July 11) at 11:00 AM (PST), Matmos stop by San Francisco's KUSF for a live performance on the program "Hearts on Sleeves". Bay Area residents can catch the program on terrestrial radio at 90.3 FM, while the rest can access a webstream online at www.kusf.org.
EDIT - Direct from Matmos: "...We will improvise on Irwin’s show for your drive time pleasure. With Wobbly. Your car will shake. Your booty will clap. Your speakers will scratch their heads, wondering, why has no one pleasured me this way before?" Couldn't have said it better myself.
02/11/08 — New MP3 posted
Check out the first MP3 from Matmos' upcoming release 'Supreme Balloon... "Rainbow Flag"
09/21/06 — New MP3 posted
We've just posted a new mp3 from Matmos' 2006 release The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast. The track is the disco-riffic and biographic (in more ways than one) "Steam and Sequins For Larry Levan."
08/16/06 — Discography updated
Check it out here. Let us know if anything is missing, we're trying to be complete.
07/26/06 — Martin writes
"This summer was supposed to be spent quietly revising Drew's dissertation, but Matmos keeps us on our toes. We just played at the Matthew Barney opening for Drawing Restraint 9's gigantic vaseline sculptures at SFMOMA, performing a new piece that utilizes the sonic properties of dry ice (it makes metal objects resonate aka scream) and then the next morning we (that's Drew, Martin and Jay Lesser) hopped on a plane to France. We played a weird outdoor show in a park in Paris, and then a cavernous festival gig in Nantes. At each show we talked a different total stranger into being our new drummer in the band for that day. In Paris, two minutes before the show started we picked Amir out of the crowd - he had a fantastic mustache and drummed with roses on "Roses and Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein" with aplomb. In Nantes, we conscripted Rasim to play the darbuka on "Rag for William S. Burroughs". Both our random French drummers turned out to be Turkish, and they were both excellent players. Now we head home, buckle down on our studies and prepare for a New York gig with Antony and then the Pitchfork festival. Like the yearbooks say, stay cool have a nice summer love Matmos . . ."
06/01/06 — Banging on cans; Going to France
As terrific press continues to roll in worldwide for Martin & Drew's tremendous 'The Rose Has Teeth...') CD/LP (currently no. 2 on CMJ's RPM chart --- there we go with that NASCAR stuff again), the duo will be hitting NYC this weekend as part of the annual Bang On A Can Festival this Sunday, followed by a couple of French dates:
La Villette Electronique 24 June / Paris
Scopitone 30 June / Nantes
04/27/06 — Free shows; iTunes i-booklet; Portrait gallery
From Drew and Martin: "Free shows rule. If they're good, you see a good show for free. If they suck, hell they were free so what's your problem? We're going to play two of them to celebrate the release of our new Matador album 'The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth of A Beast.' First, in New York City at the Whitney Museum of American Art, we will play a free show on May 5th; then in San Francisco, we will play a free Matmos show on the campus of the San Francisco Art Institute on May 12th. Both shows will feature expanded Matmos lineups with some special guest stars and an increasingly crowded stage of extra hands and fingers and mouths. For people who like to pay for stuff, you can always buy our new LP/CD, and when you're done with that, you can search for the limited "Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan" 12", featuring remixes by Safety Scissors and (nepotism alert!) The Soft Pink Truth. If you're the type of person who doesn't pay for things and who doesn't ever leave the house, you can always check out the collaborative improvisatory session for Dublab which Matmos recorded recently with Keith Fullerton Whitman while he was staying at our house. It should go up soon on their website."
The Matmos "i-booklet" with Drew and Martin taking you around the images as if on a museum audio tour (no whispering required, though. and you don't even have to get dressed), with graphic animation, is only available with purchase of 'The Rose Has Teeth...' through the iTunes Music Store.
Until then, you may browse through the visual portraits in this special section.
04/18/06 — ... and new photo
The first of many new suave and romantic photos of the duo... on the gallery page.
03/25/06 — NEW MP3
We've posted the first mp3 from Matmos' upcoming album 'The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast' which will be available on May 9, 2006. The song is the first track on the album and is called "Roses and Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein". Here's your link to download.
03/10/06 — Martin and Drew pose with cow uterus
The unbelievable new Matmos album, 'The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast,' contains aural and video portraits of Valerie Solanas (instrument pictured), Ludwig II of Bavaria, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Darby Crash, Boyd McDonald, Patricia Highsmith and other heroes. The packaging is over the top too. Album in stores May 9, and tour dates pouring in.
Martin and Drew with cow uterus
01/26/05 — ATP, QEH
Martin and Drew have confirmed their participation in the Slint-curated edition of All Tomorrow's Parties, taking place at the Pontin's Holiday Camp, Camber Sands, Rye UK from February 25-27, followed on March 19 by a headlining show at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. Around this time, Matmos' long out-of-print 'California Rhinoplasty' EP will be reissued as a digital only release through the UK version of the iTunes Music Store and other online outlets.
07/19/04 — Crazy people
Though Matmos just played a one-off date in Rimmi, Italy, the big news this month is that we've been contacted by a young man who claims to "be" Matmos:
04/07/04 — On the road in Europe; rat music
We should have European dates to annouce shortly, as Matmos have already confirmed their partcipation in the upcoming Throbbing Gristle reunion weekend at Camber Sands, Rye UK, May 14-16. Until that day arrives [it's already arrived -ed.], we can feast on the following informational tidbit regarding a new Matmos CD from Locust Music, Rat Relocation Program (LOCUST 54): "A street rat was breaking into our apartment, eating our food and chewing holes in our clothes, skittering across our kitchen in the dark, scuttling inside our walls late at night. Since we already had a pet rat, the prospect of trying to kill one rat while feeding another struck us as intolerable hypocrisy, so we bought a non-lethal 'Have-a-Heart Trap'. After several days of luring the invader closer and closer towards and then inside the trap with peanuts, we captured her. The first track is an unedited recording of the rat protesting its incarceration. The second track is our response, in which the timing and duration of the rat screams from the first track have been preserved. The following morning we took the rat to a wealthy suburban neighborhood and set it free." -- Drew Daniel.
Matmos pose with the ass of an angel
08/06/03 — The word from Drew and M.C.:
"When we're not staring glassy eyed at our Friendster page or scarfing down a complementary breakfast at this week's Polish seaside resort hotel, we are busy playing in Bjork's band as her tour rampages across the planet. Suffice to say that nothing could have prepared us for the sight of 75,000 Danish Bjork fans getting their lighters out for that Meredith Monk cover that got added to the set list. Soon though we will be back to full time Matmos and as we get closer to opening the kimono on our new album "The Civil War" some live aktions are also being planned. We are curating one night of the Dissonanze Festival in Rome, Italy on October 3rd thanks to the invitation of our pals at DNA Concerti. Should be quite a hootenanny what with People Like Us, Lesser, Mouse On Mars, Hrvatski, and ourselves all agreeing to take part. We are also trying not to freak out about the fact that we'll also be playing at the Throbbing Gristle reunion festival next May, but it's hard because we're pathetic TG fanboys. We want to play a concert in Manhattan in late September in a space that is not a bar or a standard rock venue, so if you have a kooky idea bounce it off us at email@example.com but keep in mind that we're all jetlagged and slow to respond."
05/20/03 — New album!
From the band: "We are happy to announce that we've finished our new album, entitled 'The Civil War'. We recorded most of the new record at home, and at the homes of some friends in Los Angeles (Steve Goodfriend and Jim Putnam of Radar Bros. and Mark Lightcap of Acetone/The Warm Inventions) Some synthesizer recordings were made with Keith Fullerton Whitman at the Harvard University Studio for Electro-Acoustic Composition during our residency there. It was an honour to get to play one of the original Serge modular synthesizer built by Ivan Tcherepnin himself. David Grubbs plays some piano which he recorded in New York City at the Rare Book Room. Keenan Lawler recorded some guitar for us in a sewer pipe in Louisville, Kentucky. There's also some location recordings from Hoover, Alabama which we gathered while travelling. The album's design and layout has been done by Rex Ray and looks rather lush. Mark Boswell made a video for our version of "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
04/26/02 — Drew reports: “We are doing our best to stay busy in our autumn years. In fact we’re stressed out, OK? When we’re not busy preparing for our concert at the Wexner Center with Terry Riley, we’re busy programming Bjork songs for the Coachella festival, unless of course we’re busy working on our collaborative project with the Kronos Quartet, which we do when we’re not busy working on the promotion and dissemination of our brand new CD ‘Matmos Live with J Lesser’ which we’ve put out ourselves on our own vanity label Vague Terrain. You can find out how to get this recordat our website. In between these bouts of being busy, we are busy plotting and planning the new Matmos album, which will be rather labour intensive and requires lots of extra technical assistance and car trips to remote desert locations. In the off hours we remain busy with impending remix action involving Matmos versus the Melvins, the Coup, Iannis Xenakis, and Tipsy. Lastly Drew keeps himself occupied with a solo project of cut up house music as The Soft Pink Truth. So we’re kind of busy you could say. Somehow we manage to hold down jobs too, of a sort.”
03/21/02 — Drew and Martin will be playing alongside Bjork when she headlines the Coachella festival in April. In addition, Matmos will be performing on April 19 at the prestigious Wexner Center for the Arts located on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, OH. I know, I know, “prestigious” and “Columbus” in the same sentence. Here’s the scoop:
1866 College Road
Columbus, OH 43210.
$20 general public
Here’s what Drew wrote for the programme:
“Drawing upon the heritage of musique concrete and contemporary sampling, sequencing and digital signal processing techniques, the San Francisco electronic duo Matmos make music which is based upon the musical possibilities of unusual sound sources, and the unusual playing possibilities of everyday instruments. Their past recordings have built baroque rhythmic collages out of the noises of plastic surgery, rat cages, balloons and whoopie cushions, latex clothing, walkie talkies and, infamously, the amplified synapse of crayfish nerve tissue. This unusual approach has brought them into collaborations with a diverse cast of musicians from indie rock/new chamber ensemble the Rachel’s to Icelandic pop phenomenon Bjork, whose Vespertine album was partially programmed by Matmos and who chose the duo as her backing band for her last world tour. In performance Matmos veer wildly between toe tapping pop structures and chaotic improvisation, frequently accompanied by their own video work. In their performance tonight Matmos will debut a new composition for electronics and live instruments commissioned by the Kronos Quartet. Having recorded the Kronos Quartet rehearsing the very first piece that Terry Riley wrote for them “Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector” (1981) and taking their cue from the somewhat open and player-determined structure of that piece, Matmos have taken samples from the points in the rehearsal where the performance broke down and re-stitched them together into a new piece which they perform tonight in homage to Terry Riley.”
(note from label management: the Kronos Quartet are not a side-project fronted by Venom’s vocalist. This may or may not impact your decision to attend. Thank you.)
02/12/02 — A quick Matmos update this time around since these guys are hard at work juggling so many projects at one time. After their worldwide tour opening and performing with Bjork and promoting their latest album, Matmos returned to their hometown, San Francisco, to finish what they left off before they went on the road. Then, on very short notice, they’ve been asked to play with Bjork on a two week promo tour in Paris, Cologne, and San Remo for a bunch of music awards and radio shows. They end in London in the studio working on Bjork’s new material.
01/09/02 — (Drew Daniel, M. C. Schmidt, Jay Lesser) says:
We just got back from a Karl Lagerfeld photo shoot in Paris. Tonight we play in Reykjavik. It’s the last show of our world tour with Bjork. We celebrated the end of Jay Lesser’s birthday hangover with a dip in a geothermal spa in the pouring rain. It was very dark as it’s winter here in Iceland, and Drew’s mother and brother were there, and the whole Bjork crew and a choir of Greenlandic girls. The tour has been full of utopian, ridiculous excursions like this one, and we don’t have space to describe them all, but we will tell you that we have had a really good time. If you saw any of the shows then you’ve seen the tip of the iceberg. In non-Matador related news, in the upcoming months we will release a CD of “Matmos Live with J. Lesser” (aka “High Live and Dirty”), and a recording by Kevin McKereghan, on our own label, Vague Terrain. Matmos will be playing a show with Terry Riley at the Wexner Center in April. M. C. Schmidt will go back to his job at the San Francisco Art Institute and Drew will write another chapter of his dissertation. Jay Lesser will ride a bicycle.
07/19/01 — Matmos —
Humbling the rest of us with their frenzied schedule
“We just flew back to the West Coast to shoot new video footage inside a surgical clinic. Drew’s sinuses and ear canal were anesthetized and then an endoscope was inserted very, very far into his orifices; the results will be imposed upon Bjork/Matmos fans worldwide once the joint tour kicks off in August. We have convinced Jay Lesser to relocate to our NYC crib and join our rampage, so expect showier signal processing and onstage injuries. Recordings of note: The new Slicker album ‘The Latest’ (Hefty) boasts of a track touched by the hands of Matmos; the humidity of our collaborative show with People Like Us was the talk of the SONAR Festival, and there’s a 12" of more PLU/Matmos jiggery pokery coming soon; and finally, Drew has released a 12" of fucked up house music under the name ‘The Soft Pink Truth’ (on Matthew Herbert’s Soundslike Records) which is out now and causing a ruckus, but we’re not going to break up over that sort of thing.”
Drew was too humble to mention that it is his birthday on July 20. Also, Matmos will be appearing with Bjork on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops television show at the end of July. This used to be one of the most prestigious, you-have-arrived moments in pop, but then the Strokes got booked, so never mind.
05/10/01 — Matmos are continuing their important work on the upcoming Bjork full-length, as well as making the occasional unannounced (to us, at least) DJ appeararances at various NY nightspots. A recent Tonic show alongside Cex and Kid 606has been cited by more than one witness as the kind of superstar revue rarely seen in these days of battling egos.
Other associated Matmos projects you ought to be aware of:
5/7: 4 track House 12" by The Soft Pink Truth (aka Matmos) on Soundslike Records
5/15: Remix of Richie Devine on the Schematic House of Distraction compilation
Out now: Remix of Speedy J + Muziq on Planet Mu's "Slag Boom Van Loon So Soon."
Out now: Matmos track "Keine Zahne" on Mille Plateaux's Clicks & Cuts 2
Out now: Remix Twirl EP of Kid 606 track "Twirl" on Mille Plateaux
03/07/01 — Matmos — Slicing & dicing
As universal acclaim continues to pour, drip and seep in for the S.F. duo’s ‘A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure,’ Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt have begun assisting Bjork on her forthcoming new album. Look for Matmos as part of Bjork’s touring ensemble (including Zeena Parkins!) later in 2001 — a scenario that will hopefully result in Matmos (on their own) performing in many far flung places they otherwise wouldn’t have hit.
07/05/00 — Matmos — These guys are making everyone else look lazy.
“Our split record with the Rachel’s “Full On Night” is out now on Quarterstick/Touch n Go, and the newest 12" by Disc (called “Transfer,” it’s our collaboration with Kid 606 and Lesser making 100 locked grooves of CDs skipping) is out on Deluxe Records. These are not Matador Records but they’re still pretty good. Our Summer Vacation: We’ve been running around in Europe having all sorts of misadventures — we rented a car in Paris and toured the Languedoc looking for castles related to the Cathar heresy and the mystery of Rennes Le Chateau. Much fun, much duck fat. Then we drove on to Barcelona for SONAR (too many great shows to mention, but here goes: Stockhausen, Coil, Etant Donnes, Panasonic/Einheit, Kit Clayton, Hecker, People Like Us, Phoenecia/Rich Devine, PanAmerican, Herbert, Mark Almond (!?*!), laptop orchestra). Now we are home, eagerly anticipating our Fat Cat 12" (split with Motion) and slaving away on the new album. Oh yes we are. Oh yes. And working on new mixes for Mu-Ziq, People Like Us and Phoenecia, plus some sneaky house music that no one needs to know about.”
03/12/99 — Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Matador Europe has licensed (from Vague Terrain) ‘Quasi-Objects’ and Self-Titled by the San Francisco experimental electronic duoMatmos. What do they sound like? Rhythm that hustles promiscuously somewhere between 2 Live Crew, Spike Jones and Muslimgauze; melodies inspired by slot machines and duck calls; basslines with the low end presence of dub or Miami bass; sharp bursts of abject noise puncturing the sound field when you least expect them, and most deserve them. As the title ‘Quasi-Objects’ indicates, the group have an ethic of restricting sound sources to everyday and not-so-everyday objects (balloons, whoopee cushions, walkie talkies, latex fetish clothing, a banjo, the human body).... We'll have a full bio, sound clips, and all that up shortly.