Archive for the 'Matmos' Category

Matmos at Donau Festival

By Ruairi on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Matmos, along with Jay Lesser, will be playing at the Donau Festival in Austria in a couple of weeks time. 

What kind of festival is it? Well, it's being curated by David Tibet, so I imagine it'll be very similar to Lollapalooza. The website is here.


EDIT: Actually guys, I've never been to Lollapalooza. Fennesz, SUNN O))), Nurse With Wound, Khan, Six Organs of Admittance – it's all that kind of thing, right?  

EDIT: Oh, maybe a more accurate comparison would be like a more fun No Fun Fest. So, fun, then. 

EDIT: By 'fun', I mean PUNISHING NOIZE. And The Notwist.  

Matmos – North America Tour Starts In Mere Minutes

By Gerard on Friday, October 6th, 2006

Matmos and So Percussion perform at Whitney Live event_0605171016123-am.jpg

(pic swiped from The Walker Art Center)

The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd.  To paraphrase Hugo Chavez, we can almost smell the sulpher from here, such is the devilish musical mosaic weaved by Martin, Drew and So Percussion.

10.06.06 Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus OH
10.07.06 Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh PA
10.08.06 St. George the Martyr Church – Music Gallery Toronto On
10.09.06 St. George the Martyr Church – Music Gallery Toronto On
10.10.06 Le National Montreal Qu
10.11.06 The International House Philadelphia PA
10.12.06 Boston Museum Of Fine Arts Boston MA
10.13.06 Symphony Space – Leonard Nimoy Thalia New York NY
10.14.06 Symphony Space – Leonard Nimoy Thalia New York NY
10.17.06 Jensen RecCenter Los Angeles CA
10.18.06 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
10.20.06 Holocene Portland OR
10.21.06 The Triple Door Seattle WA

Matmos at the Centre Pompidou, Sept 27 2006

By Mike on Friday, September 29th, 2006

The Matmos Paris France experience proved to be more graceful and elegant than the earthier and rocking Matmos London England experience. A bit like Paris versus London all over really. I guess the tone was set by the cultural palace that is the Centre Pompidou versus the garish red walls and velvet of Koko. But it was also the appearance on stage of the grand piano, its raised lid echoing the curves of the full sized classical harp. Both these instruments were missing from London.

The shows starts with Nate walking on to the powerful filmed imagery of the rose emerging from a cows uterus. The screen is massive (as is the stage) Disembodied plastic gloved hands manipulate both flower and body part. The song this accompanied, “Tract For Valerie Solonas”, ends with Martin playing a large inflated helium balloon. “YTTE” proves to be a crowd pleaser. “Roses and Teeth For Ludwig Wittgenstein” is propelled by Nate and Zeena using bunches of red roses as drumsticks. Petals fly into the air leaving the centre stage with a carpet of red. “Germs Burn For Darby Crash” starts with the unsettling footage of a cigarette burning Drews forearm and the gasp of his pain. An audience volunteer has his head shaved into a Mohawk with an amplified electric shaver by Martin. As the performance ends the audience calls for an encore. The house lights go up but people want more. After another song the band have to return to the stage to a standing ovation. Paris loves Matmos! And so do I. Both the London and Paris shows were stunning in their own right.

September News Report Posted

By Patrick on Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The September News Report has been posted. Regular blog readers may find some stuff they already know, but there’s plenty of new tidbits as well.

Matmos, Live @ Koko, London, 17/09/06

By Ruairi on Monday, September 18th, 2006

First up, I’ve got to apologize for these pictures. Between myself and Mike, we managed to make concert photos look like surveillance footage. I’ve seen clearer photos of the Loch Ness monster. Mike did get this photo of Martin wearing a rather lovely cushion/hat afterwards, though.
Second up (is that a term?), I must apologize for the lack of Haswell/Hecker noize action. You may remember a few weeks ago I did a post extolling the virtues of Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker, whom I thought were supporting Matmos at the Koko show. Well, they weren’t. Sorry. It had nothing to do with me or the men of Matmos. Haswell/Hecker are performing as support for Sunn 0))) and Burning Star Core at this year’s Frieze festival, though, and I’ll be there, so you can berate me in person if it makes you feel better.

Anyways, on to Matmos. They do occupy that strange area of performance where it seems equally appropriate that they play seated venues or club spaces. Although I had my reservations, Koko turned out to be perfect – a very theatrical venue that normally plays host to indie rock and A-list celebrity pop shows decked out in chairs for a show by a band who bridge the muscal gap between…well, everything, really.

Current collaboroator Zeena Parkins did a couple of pieces on her own first, and she is now my favourite working harpist (screw you Newsom). Eschewing any normal sounds you might hear emanating from a harp, Parkins instead built loops of buzzing string drone, and blasting waves of noise by attacking her instrument with what looked like a pumice stone. It was very different from what I’d heard from her in the past, and I’d love to see a full set from her. Like NOW.

Zeena returned to the stage about 15 minutes later and began reading from Valerie Solanis’ ‘S.C.U.M’ Manifesto. And then on came Martin and Drew, aided by Nate Boyce and began to build a room-rattling take on ‘Tract For Valerie Solanis’ – I really cannot emphasise enough just how powerful the bass was last night (you know when you can feel it in your teeth?). Nate’s visuals for this involved the bizarre sight of a rose slowly opening out of a cow’s uterus, which was as funny and disturbing as the song itself. They proceeded to charge through a fairly dance-heavy set (maybe cause it was a seated show), and I was ecstatic to hear them do ‘YTTE’ from ‘The Civil War’, replete with all sorts of abstract harp strums from Ms Parkins. ‘Rag For William S Burroughs’ was denser and shorter than it’s album incarnation, and ‘Steam And Sequins For Larry Levan’ climaxed with all four performers hammering away on bongos and triangle for maximum disco action, coupled with Nate’s epilepsy-inducing visuals – I didn’t see, but surely someone must have been dancing on the bar. Surely.

Watching the first season of ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ and listening to composer Carl Stalling this weekend was a perfect setup for going to see Matmos – they’re all artists who apply all their academic enthusiasm to bending high-culture (Fry & Laurie: literature & language, Stalling: orchestral composition, Matmos: music concrete) into inappropriate, populist and occasionally silly shapes without forfeiting any of their fierce intelligence. This is even more apparent for Matmos live – it’s usually about halfway through the gig when after being blindsided by the music itself, I start to think ‘Hang on, how the hell are they doing this?’. And apparently, it involves sticking metal tubes into dry ice.

In conclusion, it was a fun and baffling night out.

Noise Noise Noise

By Ruairi on Sunday, August 20th, 2006

When Lucy told us who was supporting Matmos (with Zeena Parkins) at their upcoming London show, I got so giddy that she and Mike could only gaze at me, horrified, as I drooled between exhortations of excitement. As Matador UK’s resident noise enthusiast, the news that Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker will be putting the digital smackdown on a pre-Matmos audience is as good as it gets.

Both mainstays of the now partly defunct other ‘best record label beginning with M’, Mego, Haswell and Hecker have been pushing the envelope for quite some time now. Russell Haswell, A&R for Mego, curated the Easy To Swallow club nights for All Tomorrow’s Parties, bringing together people like Mark Stewart, Whitehouse, Autechre, Robert Hood, Earth, Aphex Twin etc for nights of uneasy dancing, and has recorded as Satanstornade with Masami Akita (Merzbow), which resulted in the best album cover ever. His ‘Live Salvage‘ album on Mego is incredible. Florian Hecker (above), along with Yasonao Tone performed one of the most intensely visceral noise shows that I’ve ever witnessed. His masterpiece, ‘Sun Pandamonium‘ is utterly, utterly terrifying. The centrepiece, ‘Stocha Acid Zlook’ sounds like pterodactyls swooping above you, with screaming victims in their mouths, occasionally getting close enough to draw blood from your ears. I am not mad, that’s exactly what it sounds like. Hecker and Haswell have recorded together once – on the ‘Revision‘ 12″. ‘Harrowing’ is how I’d describe it.

Basically, I’m as excited as it’s possible to be without bursting.

Dance Fever On N. Ashland

By Gerard on Saturday, July 29th, 2006

From left to right, Mark Lightcap, M.C. Schmidt, Drew Daniel. Matmos under the Biz 3 tent at the Pitchfork Festival, Saturday afternoon. Not shown : the guy who spilled his drink over my trousers, the former P.R. maven masquerading as a homeless person, nor Jeremy Piven.