by carl wilson

Matmos and Leprechaun Catering:
Their Minds Are Not For Rent/ To God or Government

Great set last night by Matmos at the Music Gallery, as always, though certainly less of a spectacle than their usual inanimate-(or animate)-object-sampling, cabinet-of-wonders performances, due to the "no microphones" constraint on their new synthesizer-celebrating album Supreme Balloon.

Drew Daniel & Martin ("MC") Schmidt of Matmos are aware that nobody wants to sit and watch someone play a laptop for two hours, so they had plenty of video and a few ritual physical acts and other shenanigans to keep the optic nerve sated while the ears drank in the sounds. For 'zample, I'm not all that aurally enamoured of the long mesmeric title track, with which they closed the show, but it perfectly suits the psych-out op-art film they showed along with it of expanding dots and planets and seas, and the other dancey, crunchy, noisy, spacey tunes and acts of telepathy and numerology all came off dreamily.

The encore was especially fun - I assume it was improvised, as Martin went off to the dormant piano in the back corner of the church, pounding out some classical riffs that Drew then sampled and turned into a noise symphony that toyed with our spatial perceptions of the sources of the sounds.

My only real complaint is that it was the wrong encore: How dare they play Toronto without playing the new disc's tribute to our own experimental-animation-and-direct-sound proto-homocore king Norman McLaren, Exciter Lamp & the Variable Band, which contains a round-the-bend cover of O Canada. (See video below.)

However, that was compensated by tourmates Leprechaun Catering from Baltimore (where Matmos now live, as Drew's become a professor at John Hopkins). The openers named each of the pieces in their noisy, mad-laboratory improvised set with titles that acronym to "Toronto" ("Tits on Reindeer Offer Nourishment to Offspring," for instance, but my favourite was "Therefore, Our Rap Operas Need Tighter Oratorios"; I couldn't help spending much of the set trying to come up with more - my best was, "Teach Old Rover One New Trick, Okay?").

And they topped that off by playing a Theremin-led cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer (with Drew acting as "human microphone stand" because a metal microphone stand will fuck up your Theremin's mojo) - I dearly hope someone will post it on YouTube (like maybe that guy sitting in front of me who spent the entire show watching it through the little screen on his digital camera, taking 30-second clips - why bother coming to the concert if you'd much prefer watching it on a four-inch TV?): As Gallery programmer/host Jonny Dovercourt put it, "We stand on guard for Lee."

Please read the very funny and informative Matmos interview transcript posted by Zoilusian protegé Chris Randle on his rival blog.

General | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:21 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)



Interesting video, but it's no "Synchromy".

Posted by marco on July 25, 2008 7:31 PM



Duh - yes, corrected. There's an elaborate backstory to that brainfart I won't bother you with.

Posted by zoilus on July 23, 2008 9:56 AM



anagrammed = acronymed?

- El Pedanto

Posted by misha on July 23, 2008 12:19 AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson