posted by mcess at 7:25pm| Comments Off
First, we want you to know about some imminent Matmos shows: On Sunday July 22nd, Matmos will perform at the 603qm space on Alexanderstrasse in beautiful downtown Darmstadt as part of our participation in the 46th Annual Darmstadt Ferienkurse. The concert starts at 10 pm and will involve many new participants and collaborators. You don’t have to be a composer to attend: plain old everyday human beings are also welcome.
On Monday, July 6th, Matmos will perform in London at the Southbank Centre as part of Antony’s Meltdown with some help from our Baltimore pals Owen Gardner and Sam Haberman (Horse Lords, Pleasure Wizard, Teeth Mtn, etc.) and o F F Love will also perform. There’s more info about this show, and the galaxy of miscreants that Antony has bundled together, right here. Consider this your counter-Olympics.
Okay, taking a deep breath for the BIG BIG NEWS: We are very pleased to announce that Matmos has signed to Thrill Jockey Records, distinguished purveyors of quality audio with a noticeable thang for Baltimore residents of late. Thrill Jockey will be releasing some new Matmos recordings and they will make more announcements about that shortly. Thanks to Bettina and all who sail with her! We’re going to take part in the Baltimore and New York concerts in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the label, and you can find lots of information about lineups and locations at the Thrill Jockey website, which is right here.
posted by mcess at 3:01pm| Comments Off
Enjoying the silence is all very well, but sometimes you want to know what people are up to. In the spirit of oversharing, welcome to the newly updated Matmos website. (NEW URL, webbies, please take notice…) What have we been doing, you ask? We’re happy to say that after four years of labor we’ve finally wrapped up some new recordings. This candid snapshot was taken during the mastering sessions for said recordings, which took place at the home of Thomas DiMuzio. That’s his four footed associate, Penny. We’re going to tell you more than you could ever want to know about these recordings (what label? What format? EP? Album? What’s the “big idea”?) in another announcement. In the fullness of time, all things are possible.
Speaking of finishing things, this might also be the place for us to announce that, after twelve long years of grinding intellectual labor, Drew has completed the manuscript of his academic tome. “The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance” now malingers in the galleys stage (not the kitchen of a ship). This scholarly missive is forthcoming in the spring of next year from Fordham University Press, a press which home to all sorts of estimable authors like Jacques Lezra, Simon During, Jonathan Goldberg, Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Derrida. Which is nice if you like that sort of thing (Drew will talk your head off about his book if you let him, so please invite him to your campus to do that). Speaking of academic writing and Matmos, please consult the Journal of Popular Music Studies for an extraordinary co-authored essay by Michael Snediker and Rick Moody. Tell us your thoughts once you’ve read it.
Having tied up many of the loose ends associated with the new Matmos recordings and Drew’s book, M. C. Schmidt and Drew re-joined “(theLID”, their ongoing collaborative sound/music/dance project initiated by the Germany-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Leaving our home safely in the hands of various house sitters from Baltimore’s best new band Horse Lords, we flew off to the lovely city of Dresden for the final installment of this project, which has already erupted in Frankfurt, Berlin and Houston. For the Dresden run we were joined by a new dancer, cute waiters at a nearby pasta restaurant, several miles of dayglo gaffer tape, vast acres of reflective mylar space blankets, and lots of post-show Q+A rap sessions. Here are some photos from the final blowout.
Wiping the tears from our eyes and recovering from the dark and noisy world of the lid, we skedaddled from Dresden to Amsterdam, to re-connect with another starstudded collaborative affair: the Robert Wilson directed multimedia colossus which is “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”, an opera starring Marina Abramovic, Willem Dafoe, Antony and lots of other folks. Matmos is part of the musical ensemble for the production, alongside Gael Rakotondrabe (Piano), Doug Wieselman (Clarinet, Guitar), Oren Bloedow (Bass), many fine singers, and the sound art of William Basinski. This production is a globetrotting monster, and major hats off to Matmos webmistress J Lesser, who was Drew’s understudy for the Madrid production, and who singlehandedly replaced both M. C. and Drew for the Basel production. How he did it, we don’t know (by the way he has a rad new tape out of solo modular synthesizer music). As of this missive, M. C. and Drew are back in the saddle. Which mostly consists of hunching in a pitchblack orchestra pit and wait for the red cue light to go off. Then we play music, make noises, and then fret and freak out some more. The show is amazing, and there are all sorts of rumors about whether or not it might wind up in some other major cities of the world, so save your pennies.
Is there life after death? We don’t know. Is there life after “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”? Yes, most assuredly. Having finally wrapped up the LADOMA affair in the fine Belgian city of Antwerp (home to avant garde high fashion, chocolates shaped like severed hands, and horse meat restaurants), Matmos is going to enjoy itself in Berlin for ten days. Then it’s off to Darmstadt, where, ahem, M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel will be “Electronic Music Tutors” as part of the legendary Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt. We’ll be hosting a kind of masterclass on “The Material Poetics of Electronic Music”, and doing personal conferences and studio visits with individuals. Having long prophesized that at some point somebody was bound to notice that we are kind of self-taught and making it all up as we go along, we kind of can’t believe that we’ve been invited to take part in something this legitimate. Stay tuned for more information about the official Matmos concert which will be a part of the proceedings.
posted by mcess at 3:59pm| Comments Off
Many people are aware that 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth
of Alan Turing, “The Man Who Cracked The Enigma Code”, much of whose
work remained secret until after his untimely death in 1952. Less well
known is that his Mother was Irish, and his favorite song was Molly
Malone, which, so the story goes, he insisted on rendering on the
violin to the police who came to arrest him on charges of gross
indecency, before agreeing to make his statement to them.
The recording by Matmos of Clodagh Simonds (Fovea Hex / Mellow Candle)
singing Molly Malone, was first featured on their FOR ALAN TURING ep,
part of a work commissioned in 2006 by The Mathematical Sciences
Research Institute at Berkely CA on the opening of their new
Mathematics Hall. It will be available as a free download for three
days only, March 16, 17, and 18, from the Fovea Hex Bandcamp page
foveahex.bandcamp.com . Matmos anticipate that the full FOR ALAN
TURING ep will be digitally re-released to coincide with Turing’s
100th anniversary in June 2012
posted by mcess at 4:28am| Comments Off
Martin joins So Percussion for their truly staggering performance stride across the landscape of John Cage’s (shockingly groovy) percussion work, and not-necessarily percussive work…sometimes simultaneously, sometimes not. Really, these guys show their frightening level of skill here…don’t miss it. Here’s the text stolen from Toronto Arts Online:
A celebration of John Cage’s 100th birthday with striking textures from vibraphones, drums, aluminum space blankets, tin cans, synthesizers, laptops, and, of course, an amplified cactus! Program includes John Cage’s Credo in US, Imaginary Landscape #1, the controversial 4’33’’ and a world premiere by turntable composer Nicole Lizée (Canada) featuring special guests M.C. Schmidt, from Matmos, and electronica musician Dan Deacon.
For tickets call 416.408.0208 or visit www.rcmusic.ca
Mar 2, 2012
At: Koerner Hall – Telus Centre for Performing Arts, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Getting there: Take subway to St. George station. Cross the street and walk east a block to the Telus Centre for the Performing Arts. Located on the south side of Bloor St.
posted by mcess at 5:43am| Comments Off
Matmos has, to the best of our knowledge, never performed in the great
state of Texas. That’s not due to some high falutin’ cultural embargo
because the state’s governor is a homophobic secessionist cretin, no
sir. Many states in the union are saddled with similarly objectionable
human beings, so there’s no sense singling out the Lone Star state.
It’s simply because we’re lazy and it hasn’t happened yet.
But all that will change in the new year when we truck on down to Houston to
fire up the only American presentation of “(the LID”, our
improvisational-yet-kinda-composed collaborative project with the
choreographer Ayman Harper, a Texan who mostly hangs out in Germany,
and Jermaine Spivey, a dancer from Baltimore who also mostly hangs out
in Germany. We have already opened this particular LID in Frankfurt
and Berlin and we thought it might be nice to serve it up with a side
of chile rellenos, before we whip it out again in Dresden this summer.
We are grateful to the kind people of DiverseWorks for sticking their
neck out and hosting us.
That’s next Friday or Saturday January 13 or 14th…at 7:30pm
Perhaps someone will take us out for a drink on Friday?
posted by mcess at 5:23pm| Comments Off
Scanning the crystal ball into the foreseeable future, we want to
thank the people at AV Festival who had the crazy idea to ask Vicki
Bennett aka People Like Us, to curate 744 hours of web radio on the
theme of “Slowness”. Proposing musique-concrete as a labor-intensive,
and thus inherently “slow” form of music making, Matmos have stitched
together a four hour musique-concrete marathon which will be included,
needle-in-a-hay-stack style, within Vicki’s monthlong pool of
info-ooze. Expect lots of INA/GRM classiques, but also some curveballs
(don’t ask us why Monolake and Hair Police also count for us as
musique-concrete or we’ll give you that because-I-said-so look again).
More details (sort of) can be had here:
posted by mcess at 8:10pm| Comments Off
So . .. budding director and movie fanatic Adam Baran has been
curating Queer / Art / Film, this really fantastic screening series in
New York City for a while now, and we’ve been admiring it from afar.
The setup is simple: various countercultural LGBT luminaries are asked
to cherrypick a favorite film of theirs and introduce it, in public,
to lots of likeminded cinephile perverts. Everybody watches it, and
then there’s a Q+A, and then people stagger out together for drinks
and more talking afterwards. We had the pleasure of attending Jonathan
Katz’s presentation of James Bidgood’s “Pink Narcissus”, with Bidgood
himself alive and kicking on site as well, and it was a hoot. It’s a
great honor to have been asked to take part in the series, but tough
too- how do you surprise people who’ve seen everything? how do you
“queer the queers”? Trying to up the ante of perversion but cutting
left, Drew picked Joseph Losey’s 1963 claustrophobic masterpiece THE
SERVANT, an ultra-tense, smoldering psychological drama of master and
servant roleplay starring the uber-dreamy James Fox and the equally
lush Dirk Bogarde.
Drew sez: “I’m a fanatic about this movie, its look, sound and
feeling: the brittle, creepy screenplay by Harold Pinter, the cameos
from UK folk icon Davey Graham and screenwriter Pinter himself, the
suffocatingly tasteful hairdos, clothes, and décor, the sound design
and music. Every time I return to this film I find something new in
these performances, and every time I return to this film I have to
think again about what it is that makes an artwork “queer”. I can’t
wait to be confronted by “The Servant” once more. Get ready for a dark
trip.” M. C. Schmidt feels, well, differently about this movie, and
you should expect some spicy Siskel-vs.-Ebert back and forth about its
merits and its limits when Q+A time rolls around.
Thanks to Adam, we’ll be screening a fantastic print of the movie at
the IFC Center at 3232 Sixth Avenue on December 19th at 8 pm. You can
get more info, and book tickets (which you should do, this stuff sells
LESS IS MORRISSEY: DREW WINDS UP IN THE “BEST MUSIC WRITING 2011″ PILEUP
A long time ago a very young Drew got very soggy and crushed out on
The Smiths album “Meat is Murder” and the song “Well I Wonder” in
particular. Twenty five years ago, in fact. The anniversary of this
seminal recording was celebrated by the music website Stereogum, when
Brandon Stosuy asked Drew to wax nostalgic / “critical” about this
meaty matter alongside lots of other folks. Drew’s effusions have been
selected by none other than guest editor Alex Ross to appear between
the pages of an actual book, the Da Capo press Best Music Writing
2011. It’s a tiny lesson in the difference between web scale and print
scale that his musings, which looked very longwinded in deed upon a
screen, feel cobweb thin when weighed against the far more substantial
other pieces included in this tome, which features some really
passionate, smart, and moving short and not-so-short responses to
music from various music writers that Drew is also crushed out on.
Though his contribution is on the slight end of the scale, it’s an
honor all the same to be sandwiched between Ian Nagoski and Nicki
Minaj (hot!). Drew thanks Brandon, Alex and Daphne Carr for the
invitation and inclusion.
BLOWING HOT AND COLD ABOUT THROBBING GRISTLE
On a related note of taking up space on the internet fulminating about
one’s musical obsessions, Drew was asked by the great and powerful
Pitchfork to weigh in on the recent revivification of Industrial
Records and the flurry of remastered Throbbing Gristle recordings. The
result is a 3,000 word blizzard of commentary / fawning / tire-kicking
about the legacy of these ascended masters. It was pretty
gut-wrenching to have to bestow numeric grades to records which are
all 10s in our hearts (Throbbing Gristle albums are many things but
they are not Olympic figure skaters), so please ignore the rankings
and just check out the prose. All shilling aside, we really do
encourage you to check out these remastered editions of five classic
TG platters; on our recent Thanksgiving vacation trip to California we
listened exclusively to these new versions, and they sound amazingly
present and powerful- especially when driving the highway 1 through
dense fog around hairpin turns that overlook deadly drops while
blasting “Beachy Head”.
posted by mcess at 7:53pm| Comments Off
Let’s be honest. For a band that actually lives in Baltimore, Matmos
just doesn’t play in its own home city very often. The reasons are
complicated and we’re not going into that right now. But all the same,
we’re really happy to break the silence by announcing that we’re on a
bill with a truly amazing lineup. Joke Lanz / aka / Sudden Infant is a
living treasure of Aktionist Noise served blood-raw. He was contact
mic-ing puke when you were still into Third Eye Blind.
Kneel before Joke you fools!
Fraternal frequencies from Twig and Caleb = immense
bro-down, and all signs point to the sonic sorority of Relay for Death
bringing heavy manners (plus how many shows have a brother band, a
sister band, and a homosexualist couple band on the same bill?) We’ll
let DJ DogDick’s description take it from here, but suffice to say,
attendance at this Manic Monday show is Mandatory:
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19th AT THE BANK
European legend SUDDEN INFANT performs in Baltimore supported by an
epic “ensemble” cast of notable American artists. A High-Brow
Artsy-Fartsy sort of event with plenty of rumbling underline for the
Monday Night Party Styles too,,, duh. “Back to Fool”
//\\ SUDDEN INFANT //\\ — NOISE AKTION SOUND POET Joke Lanz. Part of
the Schlimpfluch-Gruppe, a european band of four of the most baddass
“noise” performers ever.
\ MATMOS / — TIMELESS AND GENTLEMANLY GENIUS. Recently having
collaborated in another ensemble cast with Antony and William Dafoe.
Baltimorians, no less.
//\\ RELAY FOR DEATH//\\ — Delisciously sinister sound and
performance from twin sisters Roxann and Rachal Spikula. Stark and
scary, but not “a downer”. Puts you in a rotting forrest teaming with
deadly shrooms and rusted out scrap. It’s seems a nightmare but
there’s something comforting about about the musty scene. HANSON
records LP sold out quickly. Some of the best stuff out there. From
//\\ JOHNSTON BROTHERS //\\ — Brothers Caleb Johnston and Twig
Harper of “Peculiar Stock”. I think the last set they played together
it was juggling each others laps while tooting and sucking on the same
saxophone. Hopefully Wolf will be back around in time to be disgusted
by it. Joke’s on him, not Joke Lanz.
“story of the brothers grunt”
posted by mcess at 1:17pm| Comments Off
An illustration from a Syntonic Research customer comment card insert from an “Environments” record.
posted by mcess at 5:35pm| Comments Off