Sunday, May 04, 2008

Up, up and away...


MATMOS really is a labour of love for San Francisco duo Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel - as not only are the pair a romantic couple, they go to extreme lengths together to get the sounds they need for their experimental electronica.
In the course of their work, Matmos have - among many, many things, some too lewd to be listed here - sampled amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, slowed down whistles and kisses, chin implant surgery, rat cages, tanks of helium, human skulls, cards shuffling, field recordings of conversations in hot tubs, frequency response tests for defective hearing aids, a steel guitar recorded in a sewer, Polish trains, aspirin tablets hitting a drum kit from across the room, life support machines, solid gold coins spinning on bars of solid silver and the sound of a frozen stream thawing in the sun.
It really is "all" in a days work for Matmos.
So for Supreme Balloon to be a studio album, albeit entirely composed on synthesizers, is daring for the group, whose work normally straddles the grey area between pop music and conceptual art.
This time out the songs are more instantly accessible and sound like extracts from a 1970s Tomorrow's World special on the music of the future.
The results are still, as you'd expect, more chin stroking than foot tapping, but Supreme Balloon is more of a pleasure trip than previous outings.

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