Matmos have always been longtime proprietors of the abstract and experimental. So why would a video pairing to their art come from anywhere else but left field? In this schizophrenic piece for “Exciter Lamp”, Drew Daniel and Martin C. Schmidt get engulfed by a Technicolor blanket.
Matmos is M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, aided and abetted by many others.
Currently based in Baltimore, the duo formed in San Francisco in the mid 1990s, and self-released their debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the two quickly became known for their highly unusual sound sources: amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, liposuction surgery, cameras and VCRs, chin implant surgery, contact microphones on human hair, rat cages, tanks of helium, a cow uterus, human skulls, snails, cigarettes, cards shuffling, laser eye surgery, whoopee cushions, balloons, latex fetish clothing, rhinestones, Polish trains, insects, life support systems, inflatable blankets, rock salt, solid gold coins, the sound of a frozen stream thawing in the sun, a five gallon bucket of oatmeal. These raw materials are manipulated into surprisingly accessible forms, and often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by the groups large circle of friends and collaborators. 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.
Since their debut, Matmos have released over eight albums, including: Quasi-Objects (1998) , The West (1998), A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure (2001), The Civil War (2003) and The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of A Beast (2006) and Supreme Balloon (2008). In 2001 they were asked to collaborate with the Icelandic singer Bjork on her Vespertine album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. In addition to musical collaborations with Antony, So Percussion, David Tibet, the Rachels, Lesser, Wobbly, Zeena Parkins, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Matmos have also collaborated with a wide range of artists across disciplines, from the visual artist Daria Martin (on the soundtrack to her film Minotaur) to the playwright Young Jean Lee (for her play The Appeal) to Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Most recently, they have been part of the ensemble for the Robert Wilson production The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, featuring Marina Abramovic, Antony and Willem Dafoe. Their next album, The Marriage of True Minds, will be released in 2013 by Thrill Jockey Records.