(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use)
Matmos (1997), 7/10
Quasi-Objects (1997), 6/10
Disc: 2xCD (1997), 6/10
Iao Core: Armadillidium Vulgare (1998), 5/10
Disc: Gaijin (1998), 5/10
The West (1999), 6.5/10
Disc: Transfer (2000), 5/10
A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure (2001), 7/10
The Civil War (2003), 6/10
Rat Relocation Program (2004) , 4/10
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast (2006), 5.5/10
Supreme Balloon (2008), 5/10
Treasure State (2010), 4.5/10
The Marriage Of True Minds (2013), 6/10
Ultimate Care II (2016), 7/10
Plastic Anniversary (2019), 5/10
The Consuming Flame (2020), 4.5/10
Soft Pink Truth: Do You Party (2003) , 5/10
Soft Pink Truth: Do You Want New Wave (2004), 5/10
Soft Pink Truth: Why Do the Heathen Rage? (2014), 5/10
Soft Pink Truth: Why Pay More? (2015), 5/10
Soft Pink Truth: Shall We Go on Sinning So That Grace May Increase? (2020), 4.5/10

Matmos is a San Francisco electronic duo (Drew Daniel, a veteran of the Kentucky rock scene, and Martin Schmidt, an avantgarde composer and artist) whose electronica is built around sampling non-musical objects (i.e., "field recordings"). The extended compositions of Matmos (Vague Terrain, 1997) conjure different images at different levels. At the top Matmos' music harks back to Tod Dockstader's 1960s experiments, the chaotic and amelodic bleeps and squeaks of blind electronic exploration. At the bottom one hears Can's rhythmic permutations, Can's floating harmonies, Can's dilated song format. At an intermediate level the ghost of Pierre Henry's "musique concrete" materializes.
It Seems is composed entirely of spoken word sampling, carefully dissected, assembled and sequenced, and could be termed a symphony of termites. Lunaire erects a melancholic atmosphere out of robot-like mechanical gesturing; Nugent Sand's hissing creates a metaphysical suspense; and Schluss paints an abstract cosmic landscape. Electric Things #5 and Verber are more like industrial symphonies and electronic poems of the kind Edgar Varese would have composed with modern technology.
The 18-minute And Silver Light Popped In His Eyes is their most explicit venture into the percussive realm. The beat is tribal from the beginning, and doubles in speed during a forceful crescendo, coupled with sampled vocals, that leads to a frantic reggae-samba bacchanal.

Quasi-Objects (Vague Terrain, 1997) is a more technical affair. Its pieces tend to focus on the technical (and, in their case, virtuoso) aspects of processing sounds. The emphasis is on abstract pieces such as Cloth Mother/Wire Mother. Schwitt Urs is an experiment on the human voice that extends similar ideas of Joan La Barbara and other avantgarde composers. The Purple Island is entirely composed of sounds from the human body.

Matmos has also scored soundtracks for porno films. The duo also features in Iao Core's line-up for Armadillidium Vulgare (Vinyl Communications, 1998).

The West (Deluxe, 1999) is an album of instrumental country & western as played by machines, or as played by Pierre Henry (the pioneer of musique concrete). Unlike the first album, this time Matmos "plays with" traditional instruments, but, to compensate, the processing goes even deeper.
The eight-minute Last Delicious Cigarette (David Pajo on guitar and Kris Force on violin and viola) is an industrial sonata for androids and assembly line that slowly acquires a melodic pattern only to destroy it and restart with a volley of dissonant violin drones over a Steve Reich-ian pulsation.
Steve Reich's repetitive patterns surface also in the ten-minute Sun On 5 At 152 (guitar, cello, drums, telephone, violin), although the pattern keeps shifting in an apparently random manner. Eventually, it ends up sounding like a blues number mixed with raga drones.
The centerpiece is the 21-minute title-track (guitars, drums, vocals), a multi-part composition that highlights Matmos' processing of spoken words and drum loops. The duo solicited the collaboration of a host of musicians (members of Aerial M, Tortoise, Acetone, For Carnation, Cul De Sac, etc), and, while the duo relied on its own computer-based tactics, somehow the "human" quality of those contributions transpires through the dense jelly of the digital "arrangement". The piece starts where the previous one left off: a driving blues pattern. Then it rapidly switches to a syncopated drum'n'bass beat, that is soon infiltrated by dub-like reverbs. When this fragment dies, the silence gets populated by shapeless, slow-moving guitar tones that disintegrated in sideral space. Eventually the rhythm picks up again, in a sloppy but ebullient fashion, coerced by fractured guitar riffs and harsh drones. The last segment is pure digital videogame-like noise. This continuously mutating piece lacks both a musical identity and a narrative unity. It feels more like a showcase for the group's techniques than a musical artifact. The brief Tonight The End is perhaps the most musical piece, a warped be-bop jam (trumpet, tuba, guitar, bass, drums) that spirals out of control.

Matmos also shines on two collaborative recordings: Full on Night, with Rachel's, and Transfer, with Venezuelan producer Kid-606 (born Michael Trost Depedro) and skitter-techno producer LSR (born Jay Lesser).

The EP California Rhinoplasty (Matador, 2001) contains remixes and the title-track, a teaser for the album.

Unlike previous albums that ran the gamut of sound collages, A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure (Matador, 2001) is based on only one organic source: sounds taken from hospitals. Sampled sounds include the breathing of patients while the surgeons operated them, the vibrations of a human skull and the flow of blood in the jugular vein. For example, Lipostudio features a duet for human fat and clarinet. Emotions leak through the digital crackles, though. Lipostudio is, first and foremost, a fluid jam of funky-jazz syncopation, hip-hop beats and iterative keyboards, with a lounge-bluesy coda (a conversation piece, a crowing rooster, sitar drones, a slow shuffle).
The disturbing drone at the beginning of Lasik is an eye surgery laser, a tad too literal. On the other hand, Ur Tchun Tan Tse Qi is a grotesque ballet of electronic bubbles and synthetic tapping that boldly weds Pere Ubu, techno dance and jug-band.
But For Felix and Memento Mori sound like requiems to the victims of medicine: a braid of mournful, agonizing, discordant drones, like a lonely bluesman blowing his harmonica in the night; and (in the latter) a pulsing darkness, a terrifying vision of worms gnawing at the decomposing flesh, and producing, again, a quasi-blues rhythm. The infectious syncopated march of Spondee and the playful, effervescent melody of California Rhinoplasty even concoct versions for the dancefloor of this medical "musique concrete". Having mastered the technique, Matmos, the main electronic terrorists of their time, are now beginning to play romantic music.

The limited-edition Wide Open Spaces documents a live performance with luminaries of the San Francisco avantgarde.

Under the moniker Soft Pink Truth, Drew Daniel has also released solo albums that revisit and deconstruct house dance music: Do You Party (Dr Rockit, 2003) and Do You Want New Wave (Soundslike, 2004).

(Translation by/Tradotto da Massimiliano Osini with/con Davide Carrozza)

I Matmos sono un duo di San Francisco (Drew Daniel, veterano della scena rock del Kentucky, e Martin Schmidt, compositore e artista d'avanguardia) la cui elettronica si estende al campionamento di oggetti non musicali (le cosiddette incisioni sul campo). Le lunghe composizioni di Matmos (Vague Terrain, 1997) coniugano immagini diverse a livelli diversi. Allo stadio superiore la musica dei Matmos riecheggia gli esperimenti compiuti da Tod Dockstader durante gli anni '60, soprattutto nell'uso caotico di sibili amelodici e negli urli di cieca esplorazione elettronica. Ad un livello inferiore si stendono le permutazioni ritmiche dei Can, le armonie fluttuanti dei Can, le dilatazioni compositive dei Can. A un livello intermedio si materializza il fantasma della musica concreta di Pierre Henry. It Seems è composto completamente da campionamenti di voci recitate, attentamente sezionate, assemblate e sequenziate, tanto che potrebbe essere definito come una sinfonia di termiti. Lunaire erige un'atmosfera malinconica dallo sferragliare meccanico di un robot, i sibili di Nugent Sand creano un'ansia metafisica mentre Schluss dipinge un astratto panorama cosmico. Electric Things #5 e Verber assomigliano più a sinfonie industriali e poemi elettronici del genere che Edgar Varese avrebbe composto con l'ausilio della tecnologia moderna. I 18 minuti di And Silver Light Popped In His Eyes sono l'incursione più esplicita nel regno delle percussioni: all'inizio il battito è tribale, raddoppia in velocità durante un forsennato crescendo accoppiandosi con voci campionate e si conclude in un frenetico baccanale reggae-samba.

Quasi-Objects (Vague Terrain, 1997) è un lavoro ancor più sofisticato nel quale i Matmos focalizzano l'attenzione sull'aspetto tecnico (in questo caso, virtuoso) dei suoni processati. L'enfasi si pone su pezzi astratti come Cloth Mother/Wire Mother, mentre Schwitt Urs è un esperimento sulla voce umana che fa tesoro delle lezioni di Joan La Barbara e di altri compositori d'avanguardia. The Purple Island è composta completamente da suoni provenienti dal corpo umano.

I Matmos hanno anche inciso colonne sonore di film porno e partecipato in veste di ospiti alla realizzazione di Armadillidium Vulgare (Vinyl Communications, 1998) di Iao Core.

The West (Deluxe, 1999), il terzo album dei Matmos, sembra un disco di country & western strumentale suonato dalle macchine, oppure suonato da Pierre Henry (il pioniere della musica concreta). A differenza del loro primo album, questa volta i Matmos armeggiano con strumenti tradizionali, ma la definizione del suono è molto più profonda. I Matmos alzano la posta con gli otto minuti del denso magma di Last Delicious Cigarette (David Pajo alla chitarra e Kris Force al violino e alla viola), una sonata industriale per androidi e catena di montaggio che acquisisce lentamente una struttura melodica solo per essere distrutta e ricominciare con una raffica di droni dissonanti per violino su una pulsazione alla Steve Reich, i pattern ripetitivi del quale riaffiorano nel minimalismo dei dieci minuti di Sun On 5 At 152 (chitarra, violoncello, batteria, telefono, violino), sebbene il pattern scorra in maniera apparentemente casuale. Alla fine, suona come un blues mescolato con droni raga. L'apice è rappresentato dalla title-track di 21 minuti (chitarra, batteria, voce), una composizione in più parti che accentua la tipica sintetizzazione di testi e loop percussivi. Benché il duo si valga della collaborazione di musicisti ospiti (membri di Aerial M, Tortoise, Acetone, For Carnation, Cul De Sac, ecc.), alla fine ripiega su strategie computerizzate per la definizione della propria personale electronica. In qualche modo, la qualità "umana" di quei contributi traspira attraverso il denso insieme dell'"arrangiamento" digitale. Il pezzo inizia dove il precedente termina: uno sferzante pattern blues. Poi cambia rapidamente in un battito drum'n'bass sincopato, nel quale si infiltrano subito riverberi dub. Quando questo frammento muore, il silenzio si popola di note di chitarra lente ed amorfe, che si disintegrano nello spazio siderale. Alla fine torna il ritmo, in maniera sdolcinata ma esuberante, costretto da riff chitarristici frammentati e droni aspri. L'ultimo segmento è puro rumore digitale da videogame. Questo pezzo in continua mutazione manca di identità musicale e unità narrativa. Sembra più una dimostrazione delle capacità tecniche del gruppo, piuttosto che un artefatto musicale. La breve Tonight, The End è forse il pezzo più musicale, un'improvvisazione be-bop deformata (tromba, tuba, chitarra, basso, batteria) che cresce fuori controllo.

I Matmos si mettono in evidenza anche in due progetti collaterali: Full on Night, con i Rachel's e Transfer, col produttore venezuelano Kid-606 (al secolo Michael Trost Depedro) e lo schizzato produttore techno LSR (Jay Lesser).

L'EP California Rhinoplasty (Matador, 2001) contiene alcuni remix e la title-track che fa da apripista per l'album.

A differenza degli album precendenti che esploravano l'intera gamma di collage sonori, A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure (Matador, 2001) si basa solamente su un'unica fonte: suoni campionati in un ospedale, includendo la respirazione dei pazienti durante operazioni chirurgiche, le vibrazioni di un cranio umano e il flusso di sangue nella vena giugulare. Lipostudio si rivela quindi come un duetto per grasso umano e clarinetto. Eppure, le emozioni si perdono attraverso i crepitii digitali. Lipostudio è anzitutto una jam fluida di sincopi funky-jazz, battiti hip-hop e tastiere iterative, con una coda lounge-blueseggiante (un pezzo di conversazione, un gallo che canta, droni di sitar, un'andatura lenta). Il disturbante drone all'inizio di Lasik è un'operazione chirurgica laser-oculare, un po' troppo letterale. D'altra parte, Ur Tchun Tan Tse Qi è un balletto grottesco di bolle elettroniche e ritmi sintetici che sposa Pere Ubu, la techno e la jug-band. Ma For Felix e Memento Mori sembrano requiem alle vittime della medicina: un passamano di droni funerei, angoscianti e dissonanti, come un bluesman solitario che suona l'armonica nella notte; e (nella seconda) tenebre pulsanti, una visione terrificante di vermi che rosicchiano la carne in decomposizione, che producono ancora una volta un ritmo quasi blues. La contagiosa marcia sincopata di Spondee e la melodia giocosa ed effervescente di California Rhinoplasty trasportano questa musica concreta medica in una sala da ballo. I Matmos, principali terroristi elettronici del loro tempo, dopo aver dominato la tecnica, stanno ora cominciando a suonare musica romantica.

Wide Open Spaces è il documento ad edizione limitata di una performance dal vivo con luminari dell'avanguardia di San Francisco.

Con lo pseudonimo Soft Pink Truth, Drew Daniel ha registrato album solisti che rivisitano e decostruiscono la house: Do You Party (Dr Rockit, 2003) e Do You Want New Wave (Soundslike, 2004).

Matmos are also behind the project Disc, a collaboration with Kid 606 and Jay Lesser. 2xCD (Vinyl Communications, 1997), Gaijin (Vinyl Communications, 1998) and Transfer (Vinyl Communications, 2000) are radical works of (respectively) scientific cacophony, (using broken and defective compact discs as instruments), sarcastic sampling and genre revisionism.

Live (Vague Terrain, 2002) is a collaboration with J Lesser.

The Civil War (Matador, 2003) is, for the most part, a surreal journey back to the music styles of the past. Weaving sounds of Irish reels, Scottish bagpipe music, medieval fairs, children's music and military fanfares (and, in particular, of the acoustic instruments used to play them), Matmos "remixes" the history of the United States and of its progenitors. In many ways, it is the continuation of The West. Best is perhaps Reconstruction, featuring Keith Fullterton Whitman (aka Hrvatski) on vintage electronics, that unfolds over a rollicking rhythm, while Y.T.T.E is a novelty number that juxtaposes jump-blues beat and acid-rock guitar, and The Struggle Against Unreality Begins features "the sound of the blood in Schmidt's carotid artery". This kind of "digital folk-rock" is not enough to sustain an entire album. Abstract pieces such as Pelt and Holler are more typical of Matmos' rhythmic experiments and mixing techniques, but hardly revolutionary. Among the guests, the main contributions seem to come from Acetone's Mark Lightcap, who plays tuba, horn, banjo, and guitars.

Fundamentally, the mini-album Rat Relocation Program (Locust, 2004) is simply a rip-off, or, at best, a joke. But, if one really has to write a review about something that has nothing to do with art, the album contains two tracks: the recording of a rat in a trap, and then Matmos' dance-oriented manipulation of such an intriguing source.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Paolo Latini with/con Davide Carrozza)

I Matmos partecipano anche al progetto Disc, una collaborazione con Kid 606 e Jay Lesser. 2xCD (Vinyl Communications, 1997), Gaijin (Vinyl Communications, 1998) e Transfer (Vinyl Communications, 2000) sono lavori radicali di (rispettivamente) cacofonia scientifica (usando cd rotti o difettosi come strumenti), sampling sarcastico e revisionismo di genere.

Live (Vague Terrain, 2002) è una collaborazione con Jay Lesser.

The Civil War (Matador, 2003) è, in gran parte, un viaggio surreale tra gli stili musicali del passato. Tessendo insieme canti irlandesi, musica scozzese per cornamusa, fiere medioevali, musica per bambini e fanfare militari (e in particolare i suoni degli strumenti acustici usati per eseguire tutto ciò), i Matmos "remixano" la storia degli Stati Uniti d'America e dei suoi progenitori. In un certo senso, è il seguito di The West. Il miglior episodio è forse Reconstruction, con Keith Fullterton Whitman (noto come Hrvatski) all'elettronica vintage, che si apre su una ritmica gioviale, mentre Y.T.T.E. è una novelty che giustappone un ritmo jump-blues e chitarre acid-rock, e The Struggle Against Unreality Begins presenta "il suono del sangue nell'arteria della carotide di Schmidt". Questo tipo di "folk-rock digitale" non basta per sostenere la lunghezza di un intero album. Pezzi astratti come Pelt and Holler sono già più tipici degli esperimenti ritmici e delle tecniche di mixing dei Matmos, ma lontani dall'essere rivoluzionari. Riguardo agli ospiti, molti contributi sembrano provenire da Mark Lightcap degli Acetone, che ha suonato tuba, corno, banjo e chitarre.

Fondamentalmente, il mini-album Rat Relocation Program (Locust, 2004) è semplicemente una fregatura, o uno scherzo, nel migliore dei casi. Ma se veramente bisogna scrivere una recensione su qualcosa che non ha niente a che vedere con l'arte, l'album consiste di due tracce: la registrazione di un topo in trappola e la manipolazione dance-oriented dei Matmos di una fonte così curiosa.

The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast (Matador, 2006) is a tribute of sorts to homosexual icons via ten "sound portraits". Thus the album continues Matmos' tendency to "use" electronic music as a message-delivery vehicle (as opposed to sound for the sake of sound). It differs from previous releases because both instruments and voices are more prominent (as opposed to using mainly found sounds). This time around there is also a satirical element that makes some of the collages of dance music echo the Residents. Joining at the hips swinging and neoclassical motives, and concluding with a nuclear storm, Snails And Lasers For Patricia Highsmith is by far the most intriguing construction here, followed by the chaotic exploration of classical music of Banquet For King Ludwig II Of Bavaria. Mostly, Matmos proves themselves apt at remixes/collages of dance-music: Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan, Public Sex for Boyd McDonald and Germs Burn For Darby Crash. Occasionally pretentious (Solo Buttons for Joe Meek amounts to a trivial revisitation of Sixties stereotypes, a college freshman could devise the musique concrete of the 14-minute Rag For William S. Burroughs for typewriter and folk fanfare) and often pointless (Semen Song For James Bidgood meanders, Tract For Valerie Solanas is just a random parade of noises, and so forth), this is certainly not Matmos' best work. It lacks both the charm and the ingenuity of A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure.

For Alan Turing (2006) contains music commissioned by the Mathematical Sciences Research institute: Enigma Machine for Alan Turing, which features the historical Enigma machine, a Bach-ian whirlwind of digital signals that morphs into a (frantic) piano sonata; the eight-minute Messages from the Unseen World, with Keith Fullerton Whitman on synthesizer and David Tibet reciting the texts written by Alan Turing on postcards sent to a friend before his suicide, each of which was titled "Messages from the Unseen World"; and Cockles and Mussels, which sounds like a merry medieval dance (Clodagh Simonds on vocals, Mark Lightcap on acoustic guitar and Blevin Blectum on violin).

Supreme Balloon (Matador, 2008), entirely performed on synthesizers with no samples, mainly contains the 24-minute Supreme Balloon. At the beginning this suite seems like an update of Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air (repetitive melodic patterns that overlap, intersect, chase each other and create a chromatic crescendo). After a two-minute pause of pointless doodling, the pulsation returns and the multi-tracked tonal tapestry resumes in an even more exuberant tone. The last nine minutes, though, are, de facto, a more abstract electronic poem that is largely unrelated to what preceded it. The other pieces are negligible. The electronic cha-cha novelty Rainbow Flag misleads into thinking that Matmos want to pay tribute to synth-pop when in fact they merely satirize it with grotesque dadaistic ballets such as Polychords and Mister Mouth. All in all, this album is neither original nor inspired. Just very cunning.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Davide Carrozza)

The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast (Matador, 2006) consta di dieci "ritratti sonori" in una specie di tributo a delle icone omosessuali. Con quest'album continua la tendenza dei Matmos a "usare" la musica elettronica come mezzo di comunicazione (in opposizione al suono per amor del suono). è diverso dagli album precedenti perché strumenti e voce sono pi prominenti (in opposizione all'usare principalmente suoni trovati). Stavolta c'è anche un elemento satirico grazie al quale alcuni collage dance riecheggiano i Residents. Introdotto da motivi agita-anche e neoclassici e con una tempesta nucleare a far da epilogo, Snails And Lasers For Patricia Highsmith la costruzione più intrigante, seguita dalla caotica esplorazione della musica classica in Banquet For King Ludwig II Of Bavaria. Perlopiù, Matmos dimostrano un'inclinazione al remix/collage di musica dance: Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan, Public Sex for Boyd McDonald e Germs Burn For Darby Crash. Talvolta pretenzioso (Solo Buttons for Joe Meek equivale a una banale rivisitazione di stereotipi degli anni '60, una matricola universitaria potrebbe concepire la musica concreta dei 14 minuti di Rag For William S. Burroughs per macchina da scrivere e fanfara folk) e spesso inutile (Semen Song For James Bidgood divaga, Tract For Valerie Solanas solo una parata casuale di sumori, e così via), non è certamente l'opera migliore dei Matmos. Non ha il fascino e l'ingenuità di A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure.

Supreme Balloon (Matador, 2008), eseguito interamente al sintetizzatore, senza campioni, contiene i 24 minuti di Supreme Balloon. All'inizio, questa suite sembra un aggiornamento di A Rainbow in Curved Air di Terry Riley (pattern melodici ripetuti che si sovrappongono, si intersecano, si danno la caccia e creano un crescendo cromatico). Dopo due minuti di scarabocchi inutili, torna la pulsazione e la tela tonale multitraccia riprende con un tono più esuberante. Ma gli ultimi nove minuti sono, di fatto, un poema elettronico più astratto che ha poco a che fare con ciò che l'ha preceduto. Gli altri pezzi sono irrilevanti. La novelty cha-cha elettronica Rainbow Flag porta a pensare che i Matmos vogliano pagar tributo al synth-pop quando in realtà ne fanno solo una parodia con grotteschi balletti dadaisti come Polychords e Mister Mouth. Tutto sommato, quest'album non è originale né ispirato. Solo molto furbo.

Treasure State (2010) was a mediocre collaboration with percussion ensemble So Percussion (Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting, Lawson White).

Matmos also formed the Simultaneous Quodlibet (2010) with fellow computer musicians Wobbly (Jon Leidecker) and J Lesser (Jason Doerck).

Matmos also remixed two quartets by composer Jefferson Friedman on Quartets (2011).

The Marriage Of True Minds (Thrill Jockey, 2013) Matmos came up with another demented idea, implemented over a period of four years: to compose music based on what some people responded when told that the Matmos duo had sent them telepathic messages; Cage's "aleatoric" method further diluted and randomized. The result is surprisingly user-friendly in the case of You, which sounds like a Laurie Anderson-ian piano-based litany that even turns into orgiastic dance music. The eight-minute E.S.P. demonic strident voodoobilly that ends with an unlikely rock jam and a comic singalong. If the thumping Tunnel is a great example of industrial dance music and the hypnotic dance for manipulated operatic voices of Very Large Green Triangles is mildly original, the ambient house Teen Paranormal Romance is more trivial than eccentric, and it is obviously not difficult to generate a two-minute hissing drone like Ross Transcript. As a three-song EP, this would have been a delight.

The mini-album At Chalkwell Park (2019) collects the music originally composed for a 2015 smartphone app conceived to guide a walk in the namesake park via manipulated field recordings of its environment, enhanced with traditional musical instruments.

Matmos enlisted help from Dan Deacon the Horse Lords (Max Eilbacher and Sam Haberman), Jason Willett of Half Japanese and Duncan Moore of Needle Gun for the 38-minute piece of Ultimate Care II (2016), composed entirely from sounds of their washing machine, recorded in the basement of their home in Baltimore. The piece begins as a form of audio-verite', with the sound of water entering the machine and the rhythmic rotation of the machine's drum, but that motion is soon manipulated to become a sort of relentless African rhythm. This disintegrates in six minutes and then we are left with a wasteland of chaotic radio signals and scavanging radioactive creatures. A rumble silences the landscape and the African-esque rhythm of the machine returns, louder and louder. As the pitch shifts, this begins to sound like a ritual dance by a pack of wild apes. A shower of hissing electronic drones resets the rhythm to a softer pitch. Eight minutes from the end, the machine's rhythm becomes a metallic drumbeat, and then more of the machine's mechanisms are revealed in an orgy of clockwork noise that evokes the image of a sweating dj acrobatically playing with his turntable. This could be their masterpiece. Ultimate Care II reveals the soul of the machine.

Plastic Anniversary (2019) is a concept around plastic, mostly performed on common plastic materials (and with help from Deerhoof's drummer Greg Saunier). It also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the marriage of Matmos members. The album contains relatively short compositions that belong to their playful, Frank Zappa-esque side, gags like The Crying Pill (with kazoos and brass instruments), Collapse Of The Fourth Kingdom (for whistles and assorted plastic percussion), and Fanfare For Polyethylene Waste Containers (with garbage cans and horns). The most sophisticated sounds are found in the celestial sonota Interior With Billiard Balls & Synthetic Fat, and the most virulent in the industrial dance of Thermoplastic Riot Shield. It all takes place in a festive carnival atmosphere.

The silly three-hour exercise of The Consuming Flame (2020) was built out of the contributions of 99 musicians, each one limited to a rhythm of 99 beats per minute. The resulting collages were split into three discs: the 57-minute A Doughnut in the Sky, the 60-minute On the Team and the 61-minute Extraterrestrial Masters. At best some of the fragments sound like the most clownish moments of the Residents, but without the conceptual and satirical elements that kept them interesting. The funk and jazz fragments in On the Team are the most musical ones, but any amateur familiar with those styles could do the same. The massive wall of noise that opens Extraterrestrial Masters is simply an old strategy to hide the dearth of ideas. Of course, out of three hours one can always find at least ten minutes that are worth listening. Any uninspired musician can randomly generate three hours of music and count on statistics to produce a few minutes of interesting sounds.

Daniel resurrected the moniker Soft Pink Truth for the black-metal parody Why Do the Heathen Rage? (2014), subtitled "electronic profanations of black metal classics". Why Pay More? (2015), originally conceived for a live performance in 2009, was assembled from random searches on the YouTube platform. Soft Pink Truth wraps minimal techno and microhouse in celestial soundscapes on Shall We Go on Sinning So That Grace May Increase? (2020) but the result is lifeless music.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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