sO PER­cus­siON AND MAT­MOs Trea­sure State (can­taloupe)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Bri­tish duo Mat­mos has al­ways been lumped in with elec­tronic rather than “new” mu­sic, as far as such un­lumpable mu­sic can be lumped. I guess a high-pro­file col­lab­o­ra­tion with Björk will do that. To file their mu­sic — which has been de­rived from sounds that in­clude sur­gi­cal equip­ment, live snails, and Civil War in­stru­ments — next to the Chem­i­cal Broth­ers does them a dis­ser­vice. But it took this col­lab­o­ra­tion with Brook­lyn avant-garde com­posers So Per­cus­sion for me to feel this way. Long in the mak­ing, Trea­sure State of­fers a cor­nu­copia of melody and rhythm that plays as one long suite but of­fers many twists and turns along the way. “Trea­sure,” the open­ing track, seems to live in the segues be­tween songs on Side B of Abbey Road, per­haps in the same neigh­bor­hood as the Sun King. This gives way to “Wa­ter,” an ar­range­ment for steel drums, glock­en­spiel, and pour­ing wa­ter sounds that isn’t nearly as pre­dictable as any writ­ten de­scrip­tion would lead you to be­lieve. From there we get a song made from a foun­da­tion of the am­pli­fied pluck­ing of cac­tus nee­dles. And so on. Through­out, the al­bum is more melodic and med­i­ta­tive than weird and un­ap­proach­able; the lone mis­step is when the mu­si­cians break the reverie with a bit of noise on “Cross.” Oth­er­wise, it’s a trea­sure trove of in­stru­men­tal, avant­pop, elec­tronic, new, what­ever. — Robert B. Ker

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