15 questions with Matmos

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This year Supersonic will welcome Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) to the fold. This American duo have been manipulating raw materials into surprisingly accessible forms, often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by them and their large circle of friends and collaborators (Bjork, Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic etc.). The result is a model of electronic composition as a relational network that connects sources and outcomes together; information about the process of creation activates the listening experience, providing the listener with entry points into sometimes densely allusive, baroque recordings. Their most recent album, The Marriage of True Minds, was released in 2013 by Thrill Jockey Records.

15questions.net recently sat the pair down for a Q&A. We’ve picked out a couple of questions for you below but the interview can be read in full here and it’s well worth doing just that.

When did you start writing/producing music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

My starting point wasn’t music but sound- I started making cut-ups with tape recorders when I was fifteen, editing funny little skit-like things out of records and the radio with a pause button. I did it because I had read about William S. Burroughs’ experiments with tape recorders and cut-ups and wanted to try that out myself. So I acquired a lot of cheap little plastic tape recorders and began to make pause-button edits, and then started doing primitive multi-tracking of noises and voices by having four tapes play in a room and recording them all to a fifth tape deck. I loved, in order, disco, heavy metal, hip hop, new wave, punk and hardcore and then industrial and noise. That’s the cycle from age 11 to age 16.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

The most literally incisive moments were the recordings of cosmetic surgery that generated our album A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure: rhinoplasty, chin implants, liposuction.

I think meeting Martin was the catalyst for it all. We made a tape called Matmos in Lo Fidelity that was entirely in 8 bit. It was just an exercise in cutting and editing sound intensively, with lots of hyper juxtapositions and ridiculous noises – that was so fun to make, and was the beginning our romantic and musical partnership.

 

 

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?

We are old fashioned and we like artefacts. I have watched enough turnover of formats in the digital domain to be pretty sceptical about the longevity of digital environments and digital storage. Remember floppy disks? 3.5 diskettes? Memory sticks? Zip drives? SCSI ports? I do. Implicitly, I am collector scum and I still have big boxes of noise cassettes from the 1980s that I love, and tons of vinyl at our house, and old photocopied zines. I think digital is great and has lots of advantages and obviously it’s the dominant media/medium/pathway at the moment. But I don’t see people twenty years from now caressing their old mp3s, while I am still listening to my Misfits record that I bought in high school.

MCS says:  Decidedly toward the latter- that’s why we’ve released the Ganzfeld EP in a limited edition with headphones, eye goggles and extensive liner notes about the project. We want people to be involved in a tactile way and to be informed, through language and image, about what they are hearing. That makes us old fashioned- we’re attached to the metaphor of “the album” as in the “photo album”- something to touch and leaf through and pore over in order to feel a connection.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

We work to solicit interpretive desire, so that the listener feels a need to understand and learn about what she is hearing. We want to activate listening by foregrounding both jarring encounters with real sound, sourced in everyday life, with everyday objects and heavily artificial / constructed / untrustworthy moments. We hope that the tension between these components will make people worry about what it is that they are hearing and that it will generate a kind of audio-puzzle for them. That’s our hope. But of course you can’t actually determine how and in what way people encounter your work, and that open-endedness is just part of the process.

 

For more information on Matmos visit vague-terrain.com

 

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Felix Kubin

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Felix Kubin, messenger of exploding lungs, lives and works against gravitation. At the age of 12 he started composing electronic 4-track music. His activities comprise futurist pop, electroacoustic and chamber orchestra music, radio plays, lectures, workshops and his label Gagarin Records. He has been involved with the noise project Klangkrieg, the communist singing group Liedertafel Margot Honecker and the tetchy teenage bands Die Egozentrischen 2 and x2. Recently, he works a lot with the ensemble Integrales.

www.felixkubin.com

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Supersonic 2014 “Ltd Edt” playlist

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It’s that time again to get curious, to get adventurous and to get ready. After taking a year out to re-imagine the festival following our tenth anniversary, Supersonic Festival is now back and going old skool in special two-day “Limited Edition” format this May 30th-31st. Tickets HERE.

The line-up so far includes post-punk legends SWANS, avant garde rockers WOLF EYES, multi-instrumentalist ensemble EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, straight-talkers SLEAFORD MODS, sonic explorer BASIC HOUSE, Baltimore duo MATMOS, electro-violinist AGATHE MAX, Norwegian songwriter JENNY HVAL and more…. For a taste of what’s to come have a listen to our Supersonic 2014 playlist featuring these artists:

Supersonic Festival’s playground for 2014 will be the iconic Custard Factory, home of Capsule HQ. This ever-evolving industrial arts complex will shapeshift once again this May to play host to Supersonic’s enticing programme of experimental music, film and art. But this is Supersonic “Limited Edition” don’t forget, so expect a few extra special treats… and remember tickets are limited to 400 so do not miss out. Keep your eyes peeled for further line-up announcements over the next few weeks.
Tickets are available from HERE.

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Melt Banana + Thrilling Headgear + Glatze / 27th May / Rainbow Warehouse

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Capsule are delighted to announce the return of MELT BANANA who will perform in Birmingham on May 27 at the Rainbow Warehouse. Tickets from HERE

 

From the whip-like crack of Yako’s signature staccato vocals and impossible-to-memorize lyrics to the relentless overdrive tempo of their one of-a-kind prog-core, MELT BANANA have long resided in a cybertopia of their own devising where the limits of technology and human capability are old-world concerns as quaint and cumbersome as bartering with a blacksmith. The demos for Fetch, their first studio album since the severely fried pop-punk of 1997′s Bambi’s Dilemma, were completed in March 2011, but the Fukushima earthquake changed everything, including their ability to concentrate on recording. Which stopped completely.

 

Once they felt ready to return to their music, they decided to approach th songs on a sound-by-sound basis, choosing each tone with meticulous attention to detail, affirming their personal connections, being themselves naturally and openly.

  

They’ve been performing live as a duo since summer 2012, and will do the same for their “2 do what 2 fetch” tour in support of the album. After nearly 20 years of playing with a live rhythm section, their use of a PC, while opening possibilities for a variety of drum and synth voicings, does not signal a move away from the traditional live band sound, as heard, for example, via the future transmissions from downtown Noiseapolis on 2009′s Lite Live: Ver. 0.0. Yako and Agata say they need to feel real band sounds onstage as much as someone in the audience. This is a group that routinely excels at several kinds of impossible simultaneously, so of course any new challenge they come up with for themselves is sure to blow the doors off your Mini Cooper.

Tickets from HERE

Melt Banana official

 

THRILLING HEADGEAR

Swelling from out of the cosmic putrescence of the Wizzleteat corpse, Thrilling Headgear force day-glo colours into angular shapes, holding groove as dogma. At turns both despondant and ethereal, TH play bleeted punk rock, transcendent and engaged, psychonautical engineering for earth-bound space mechanics.

 

GLATZE

Glatze is back! After a brief hiatus the one-man musical loon has been coaxed out to play by the prospect of supporting Melt Banana again, for old times’ sake. Glatze’s first gig for Capsule was this very same support slot, back in 2009. Expect the usual live improvised electronic mayhem, with just a hint more “mad professor” than “young buck”. He promises to do his very best in support of one of his favourite live acts…

 

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The Ex + Rattle + Health & Efficiency / 18th April / Hare & Hounds

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Capsule are excited to announce THE EX will playing Birmingham at the Hare & Hounds on April 18th. Buy tickets here

Since emerging in 1979, Dutch anarcho-punk band THE EX have embarked on a series of adventurous collaborations, making their musical style impossible to confine to any one genre. Beginning in the 80s The Ex partnered with jazz musicians and an Iraqi-Kurdish band. Later, in the 90s the group found a myriad of partners from varied musical and non-musical backgrounds including Kamagurka, Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink, Jan Mulder, Shellac and Wolter Wierbos.

THE EX return to the UK this Spring and have just released a brand new 7” single. The A-side ‘How Thick You Think’ is available to listen to courtesy of The Quietus.

“They are the most interesting musical unit in the world today…Go and see the Ex and you will hear rhythms you have never heard before…a sweaty seething party, an uplifting, joyful celebration.” – The Quietus

www.theex.nl

RATTLE

If the idea of a band consisting of just 2 drummers brings to mind a hippy bongo nightmare then you’ve obviously never heard RATTLE. Comprising of 2 of Nottingham’s most unique and recognisable drummers (Theresa Wrigley of Fists and Katharine Brown of KOGUMAZA) and aided by Kogumaza’s Mark Spivey they create a hypnotic and danceable music form that recalls This Heat or ESG even whilst remaining completely their own.

HEALTH & EFFICIENCY

Drawing influence and inspiration from a heterogeneous selection of art and music H&E formed in 2009. They combine elements of punk-rock, no-wave, free jazz, psych-folk, minimalist composition, and improvisation into a dynamic balance that sounds spontaneous and harmonious in its execution.

Tickets for THE EX + RATTLE + HEALTH & EFFICIENCY at Hare & Hounds on April 18th are available for purchase now and also include entry to a secondary stage which is being co-hosted by our friends at MILQUE & MUHLE.

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The  MILQUE & MUHLE programme includes:

GHOLD

With a heavy bass line and percussive drums, this sludge rock duo pay homage to the early days of Sludge with bands like the Melvins, Karp and Godheadsilo.

MOB RULES

‘Cesstone music to try the patience of the Hardcore’, MOB RULES are arguably one of best bands on the UK Hardcore scene at the moment, Leeds anger-fuelled Powerviolence at its best. Formed in 2008, this four-piece are practically Leeds’ answer to Black Flag.

SUMP

Formed in 2008, SUMP is a Yorkshire two-piece consisting of George Proctor (guitar) and Gareth Howells (drums and vocals). Sump is a glorious fusion of Black Metal and Punk, this isn’t the first time the two have come together, yet somehow Sump achieve a unique and exciting sound.

BAYONNEBLEEDER

This will be the second show from local Hardcore outfit BAYONNEBLEEDER, who have spent over a year refining their tight and rapid sound; They take influence from bands such as Rorschach, Septic Death and His Hero Is Gone.

+ DJ SETS FROM LUKE YOUNGER & CHRIS BRESS

Buy tickets here for THE EX, RATTLE, HEALTH & EFFICIENCY and the MILQUE & MUHLE  line-up. Tickets include entry to both stages.

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