Matmos at Auto Italia 19th May 2011

23 May 2011

Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel ) are the San Francisco wizards of electronic music, well known for their stellar production of Bjork’s beautiful Vespertine album amongst other great feats of musical pioneering and they did not disappoint us with their brilliant show last Friday at Auto Italia in London.

Auto Italia was the perfect venue for such a perfectly crisp ultra modern set, which included brave and beautiful new works from their forthcoming album ‘The Marriage of True Minds’. An album based on the fascinating concept of telepathy. The venue feels a bit like a small empty car showroom but cooler and the sound was good. The improvised choir who stood at the back of the room on a raised stairwell platform for the first song, gave the gig a touch of Philip Glass elegance.

Matmos were joined by their collaboator, the experimental guitarist J Lesser who is also known for his pioneering approach to using guitars and synths and to create organic modular music. This was a great addition and some truly great sounds were being produced by all three artists, each seemingly in their own world, orbiting the sun of creativity to produce epic and perfectly natural, coherent, inspired pieces of music. Like the parts of a finely tuned giant clock, all turning in time with each other, Drew, M.C. and J Lesser seemed to be in absolute harmony with themselves and their music, relishing the experience of playing their exciting music on a deep and subliminal level.

Recently in an interview with Ragged Words when asked about Matmos’ field recordings which are often used in their music and their favourite most satisfying outcomes, Drew Daniel replies……..“One memory that certainly stands out in its intensity and satisfaction was the recording of the snails interrupting the path of a laser that was pointed at a light-sensitive theremin during sessions for The Rose Has Teeth…. That was a real mystery to us, and we had no idea if it would work; we didn’t know whether the snails would be interested in the laser in the first place, or if the results would ‘gel’. We sat in the dark with our mouths open just staring at these creatures playing electronic music in front of us… It was astonishing.”

The Auto Italia gig on Friday was a marvel, not only were the visuals (projections of facial surgery and hospitals, Cleopatra and a nod to Kenneth Anger style ritualistic footage and old world porn) amazing and perfect for the music but the insight that the live show gave to the audience, to how Matmos (the sharp scientists of the electronic music scene) create their vast audio landscapes, was truly invigorating and awe inspiring.
Thanks Matmos for broadening our minds and combining beauty with experimentation to bring us your unique heart & mind expanding vision.

Photo by Kelli Ali

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