We’re not sure about this crowning glory business, but The West has been described as…
…a sun-bleached prairie-bound fandango, the San Franciscan duo of Drew Daniel and M C Schmidt pooled together traditional tropes and instrumentation for 1999’s The West. It remains the group’s crowning glory and closely follows the cross-pollinating template laid out by Chicago’s Gastr Del Sol on their wondrous Camoufleur album, released the previous year. …
“Daniel and Schmidt have always been fascinated by texture, and here they focus on it intently, exploring dozens of ways that water can fall, slosh, churn, or hiss. During calmer interludes, drones move past as if floating through an amniotic sac.” -Pitchfork
Or, perhaps you live in Whitefish, Montana, where I am not sure there IS a record shop. In which case you may order this artwork (and let’s keep in mind that 18 dollars is a pretty good price for an artwork) from
IN other news, we will be doing a short tour of the eastern half of the United States, and later Europe. But we’d like to say, that although you SIMPLY MUST come to these shows, what we really do best is make recorded sound works. The album is the important thing (to us). This is the experience we would like you to have…everything else is gravy. Enjoy our record.
We have worked very hard, placed mics just so, applied occult technologies, commissioned artwork and videos: the season of Ultimate Care has begun. Here is information about it, and how to order it, and some illustrations to help you understand.
Ultimate Care II is the new album from renowned conceptual electronics duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt). Recorded in the basement studio of their home in Baltimore, the album is constructed entirely out of the sounds generated by a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II model washing machine. Like its namesake, the album runs across its variations as a single, continuous thirty eight minute experience that starts with the grinding turn of the wash size selection wheel, and ends with the alert noise that signals that the wash is done. Between these audio-verité book-ends, we experience an exploded view of the machine, hearing it in normal operation, but also as an object being rubbed and stroked and drummed upon and prodded and sampled and sequenced and processed by the duo, with some occasional extra help from an ultra-local crew of guest stars (some of whom regularly do laundry chez Matmos). Dan Deacon, Max Eilbacher (Horse Lords), Sam Haberman (Horse Lords), Jason Willett (Half Japanese), and Duncan Moore (Needle Gun) all took part, either playing the machine like a drum, processing its audio, or sending MIDI data to the duo’s samplers. The vocabulary of the Ultimate Care II, its rhythmic chugs, spin cycle drones, rinse cycle splashes, metallic clanks and electronic beeps are parsed into an eclectic syntax of diverse musical genres. The result is a suite of rhythmic, melodic and drone-based compositions that morph dramatically, but remain fanatically centered upon their single, original sound source.
In a visual analogue to the recording process, the artwork for the album is constructed entirely out of photographs of the machine in question shot in its natural habitat and then digitally manipulated by New York artist Ted Mineo. Lending trunk-rattling low end and sharp high frequencies, Rashad Becker mastered the album at D&M in Berlin. San Francisco motion graphics firm L-inc, who created the “Very Large Green Triangles” video for Matmos’ last album, “The Marriage of True Minds”, are slated to create a video to accompany Ultimate Care II. The duo will be performing in the United States and Europe to celebrate the release. The washing machine was not available for comment.
Thrill Jockey Records are our partners in getting this work to the world, please pre-order, with special incentives, here:
If you happen to be in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, in England, this is more than an album, it’s a live interactive experience of sound and place. We made these pieces to be listened to on headphones in Chalkwell Park surrounding the Chalkwell House, home to Metal, a local arts establishment, there. You download this app onto your phone and then go to the park and follow the instructions provided by us.
If you DON’T happen to be lucky enough to live or be on holiday in lovely Southend-on-Sea, (and it IS lovely) you can also listen to these pieces by downloading the app and…figuring out how to listen to it…in “armchair mode”. Experiencialate! Listensperience!