Thursday, February 28, 2013

Matmos in Austin Tonight

So, you know those crazy (like a fox) Bjork records where all of the beats and instruments are sampled sounds from nature? Well, that is the influence and genius of experimental electronic duo, Matmos. They have re-invented the way electronic music is both recorded and performed and the fact that they are playing The North Door tonight is pretty mind-melting. The Marriage of True Minds is the latest release from Matmos and it's also the first full-length from the duo in five years.

I'm going to do something I rarely do, which is to copy and paste a section of the press release for the album explaining the concept behind it because there is no way I could do it justice.

For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act out that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment. “The Marriage of True Minds” boasts a promiscuous cast of guest musicians, an array of sonic tactics, and a broad swathe of musical styles, but this diversity is joined together with a common purpose: the translation of this archive of psychic experiments into a delirious hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop.

Matmos - ESP (Live at Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary) video via YouTube

Tickets for tonight's Matmos show are not sold-out and I haven't noticed a lot of buzz for the event. In other words, you could probably make a last-minute decision to check it out and PROBABLY not have much trouble just paying at the door.