Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Record label: Thrill Jockey
The music made by Matmos has a distinctly corporeal hue. Sometime Pitchfork contributor Drew Daniel and his partner M.C. Schmidt entered operating rooms to sample liposuctions, plastic surgeries, bonesaws, and other medical procedures for their 2001 album A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure. Their work has been constructed from bowed rat cages and the slow plod of feet traipsing through a box of gravel; it's far more tactile than anything usually described as "electronic".
In their 15 years as a group, Matmos have relied as much on the concept behind each album as on the music within. The group's latest release, The Ganzfeld EP, follows suit: it's named after a series of early 20th century experiments, where individuals were deprived of their senses and tested for extrasensory perception. For this EP, Matmos's Drew Daniel conducted his own series of Ganzfeld experiments, and the melodies and images that were "transmitted" formed the basis for the three songs.
You can buy The Ganzfield EP, the latest recording by electro-weirdos Matmos, in a special edition boxset that includes over-ear headphones and “custom Ganzfield” goggles. The goggles, which resemble the little eyebuds you’d place over your retinas to keep them from harm in the tanning bed, will—ideally—blind you while the headphones pump enough white noise into your eardrums to drown away the outside world. You could also, of course, use the headphones to listen to the music, also helpfully included in the box set.
Conceptual found-sound electro-collagists Matmos switched labels and maintained a relatively low profile between their 2008 album Supreme Balloon and this EP, which serves as an anticipatory stopgap release leading up to their 2013 offering The Marriage of True Minds. The three songs for The Ganzfeld EP manage to go all over the map in under half-an-hour. An edit of "Very Large Green Triangles" sounds most like the strange sound-sampling electronica fans are most used to from Matmos, with vocal recordings twisted around pop-friendly beats.
Drawing influences from science and strategic tests, electronic duo Matmos have created an EP as a predecessor to their ensuing LP, out later this year as well. The Ganzfeld EP deploys three carefully crafted songs and marks an opportunity where the experimental duo can revel in heady moments. Closing with “Just Waves,” the duo circles their ideas around the revolving thoughts our human brains consume and layering them one on top of the other, it’s a clashing of sounds celebration.