“I mean it’s the right amount of information and the right amount of mystery.”
Drew Daniel – Matmos
CTM.13’s Opening Concert cuts directly to the heart of the promiscuously seething Golden Age, in which the full potential of music that crosses stylistic, epochal, and cultural borders, and that has long since incorporated every theoretically conceivable sound and every imaginable musical order (or disorder) as its structural elements, mesmerisingly unfolds. Here, everything is engaged in reactive exchange with everything else. But how can anything ever be articulated in this noisy, swirling maelstrom? The sheer overwhelming acoustic diversity, poly-stylistics, and exuberant referentiality of the music of Matmos, and of AtomTM & Marc Behrens, is held together by a very specific, non-musical intent.
Matmos’ new album, The Marriage of True Minds, which celebrates its world premiere this evening, arose from re-enactments of Ganzfeld telepathy experiments designed to detect extra-sensory perceptions and prove that telepathic communication works. Over a four-year period, dozens of volunteers were occasionally locked away in conditions of sensory deprivation while Matmos member Drew Daniel sat in the adjoining room, telepathically sending them ideas for a new Matmos album. The recordings and evaluation of these sessions provided the script from which the album tracks were subsequently developed in cooperation with numerous guest musicians, such as Jason Lasser, Nautical Almanac, the Arditti String Quartet, Gerry Mak of Brooklyn Doom Metal band Bloody Panda, Dan Deacon, and Jason Willet of Half Japanese. Somewhere between pumping techno beats, ghostly synth passages, musique concrète, South American rhythms, surf rock, voice samples, doom riffs, and Ethiopian music, and incorporating cover versions, for example, of the Buzzcocks’ track “ESP”, Matmos succeed in shaping this rampant diversity into a compelling hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop. The Marriage of True Minds represents a complex approach to the mysteries of interpersonal communication, and would be equally at home in a gallery as it is in a club or concert hall.
Beforehand, AtomTM & Marc Behrens present the stage premiere of their radio play, “Bauteile” (Components), which was produced for the German broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur. They postulate that every musical structure exists in a kind of historical and stylistic space of zero gravity, and can thus in principle drift back and forth between all styles and eras. The first “components” of the radio play were created as far back as 1987. The final composition thus amounts to a biographical soundtrack of the two artists’ work over the last fifteen years, as it integrates the impressions they garnered as listeners as well as the output they personally produced, weaving the whole into a broad-ranging tapestry of sound threaded by the colours and tonal forms of pretty much every style of music you’ve ever heard.
Uwe Schmidt, aka Atom Heart, aka Atom™, aka Señor Coconut, is a prolific electronic music producer working under an ever-changing array of pseudonyms and personalities and producing albums for his own imprint, Rather Interesting, and other solo and collaborative endeavours.
Marc Behrens works on several cerebral and physical levels. His works consist mainly of concrete electronic music and installations, including the occasional photograph, or video. He has performed and exhibited extensively around the world.
M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel formed Matmos in San Francisco in the mid 1990s. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the duo quickly became known for unusual sound sources.