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Matmos / Motion – Split

Label: FatCat Format: 12″

Matmos Motion - Split Series #11Matmos‘ side of this disc has two tracks, the first of which, “Freak ‘N’ You”, uses digital cut-ups to make snickering Funk from the garbage of sundry abandoned R&B acapella vocal CDs left lying in bins at Drew Daniel‘s college radio station; and very odd indeed it is too. Deracinated Soulful singers make a skipping, skimming presences in a piece which gets up early to make its own contribution to the annals of off-kilter undanceable Dance music. Their second piece, “Rigged Seance”, finds Mr. Daniel and M.C. Schmidt making realtime connections between prepared banjo and a CDR of David Pajo‘s guitar work, Strauss sample interjections and some field recordings from around Mount Everest. The effect makes a disjointed run through plinks, shimmery skiffy-sent whoops and layered clumps of string and peg creaks, rather peculiarly offset with a blast of orchestral noise and brief touches of silence and the odd bit of jaunty whistling. Hail the lack of melody, and the joys of sound for sound’s sake.

The debut release by Motion on the other half of the split 12″ showcases Chris Coode‘s take on stochastic sampling, brushing up lo-fi junk-tech bricolage against the hard disc and sequencer ’til a curious scum floats to the surface. Some affintiies can be found with the obvious – Oval, Autechre perhaps, but by no means precisely – but also with the sequence in Dark Star where the captain of the drifting, ennui-entopic spaceship relaxes with his bottle-marimba. There are three pieces on the EP, and the second, “Motor Function Error”, takes things to a different level of clicking and looping, bringing up the bass tones and timestretching things into curiously-splintered rhythmic dimensions with a touchingly emotive edge creeping out of the glitches and lightly-grilled string samples for a warmly-swelling ending.

Last up in “Electric Pets”, where the sound of what might be inferred as Tamagotchis in disguise (regardless of whether the little dears feature at all – they’re more implied; perhaps as audience?) makes a backdrop to a slow framework of gently-accreting loops of what sounds like string-stretches and pluckings turned inside out on themselves.

-Antron S. Meister-

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