Matmos – Plastic Anniversary

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Aug 12, 2019
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Apple Music / Spotify

Matmos music is always based on a concept that invites the listener to contemplate upon with the help of sounds. Plastic Anniversary marks the duo's 25 years anniversary and is all about plastic. Every sound used for the record was recorded using the something from the plastic that surrounds us - all over, yes. With a strong composition behind and a rich texture of sounds the album can be perceived in any ways but cheap. Yes, plastic surrounds us, it escalated into more than a problem that our generation will be able to solve, but have you ever thought how every little thing made from plastic would sound?

Matmos employs and deploys a glitch aesthetic in an insane rich deconstructivist cut'n'paste way of modifying samples they use. The record reminded me of Utopia soundtrack by Cristobal Tapia de Veer, in terms of being open to experiments without implying a dark and intense atmosphere.

The album starts joyfully with sounds which seem produced by broken toys, sampled and over-layed like in a crazy puzzle reminiscent of breakcore as a manner of treating audio. While you continue listening you start to discover the vast universe of plastic and it seems as the artist wants to show you every instrument he is playing at - bakelite dominos, styrofoam coolers, polyethylene waste containers, PVC panpipes, pinpricks of bubble wrap, silicone gel breast implants and synthetic human fat. 

The entire package of sounds and atmosphere is so well constructed that makes you forget it’s all based on plastic samples. If I were to make a strong statement about this album I would say it is a cosmogony of plastic sound. Although both artists say it is not a political album, I dare say it is a philosophical one, at least for me. In my defence I remind the listener that Drew Daniel studied philosophy while Martin Schmidt used to be an assistant manager of the "New genres department" at San Francisco Art Institute. Their chemistry works perfect in the social and artistic universe.

Cover art, which collages high resolution, up-close photographs of the objects used to create the music, is by Ted Mineo, the creator of the cover art for Ultimate Care II. Back cover image by photographer and activist Chris Jordan depicts the plastic contents from the stomach of a Laysan albatross photographed in an atoll near the Pacific Ocean Plastic Gyre. 

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