Published Jun 01, 2006The latest album from Matmos consists of a series of sound portraits of historical figures. These musical biographies take on a life of their own when one considers that Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt re-enacted events from the lives of people they admire to create this conceptual masterpiece; using objects that are reminiscent of the subjects life and work, field recordings were made, edited, twisted, and mixed into the brilliant songs on this album. The results are as dark and unorthodox as much of the duos previous work, but with a more prominent sense of rhythm permeating the record. "Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan is a disco hustle that pays homage to the legendary 80s NYC DJ. "Tract for Valerie Solanas, which makes use of an inflated cow uterus to produce "vaginal farts, is a tribute to the radical feminist and author who shot Andy Warhol. "Semen Song for James Bigood, another tribute, this time to the 60s gay porn director, contains samples of semen sounds and recordings of anonymous sex at San Franciscos Bear Festival. Most enjoyable is "Public Sex for Boyd McDonald, is a 70s porno groove containing a sample of Drew getting burned by a cigarette before the song dissolves into the misty air of the night.
When you play these songs live, do you plan to do the re-enactments as well? Daniel: Yeah, I mean it depends on the space, of course. Were going to do a concert this Friday where when we play the Valerie Solanas song, were going to play a uterus live Martins teaching a course at the art institute, so weve got 20 of his students drumming with us for the Burroughs song.
What scenes informed you early in your career? Schmidt: Noise music really. I used to run a gallery where we hosted where we had noise bands every week a sort of scene. We definitely come up out of and I say we because I think that this is true for both of us not knowing how to play music. And Im not sure that its any different now than it was then. Thats why improv is so important to us Daniel: Mine is the punk rock scene of Louisville, Kentucky. Thats where I come from and like Martin was saying, a certain kind of ignorance of how to play real music leads you, if you want to make sound, with other ways to do that. (Matador)