Matmos Share “Very Large Green Triangles” Off “The Ganz”
Electronic duo Matmos is set to release the most conceptually elaborate yet weirdly poppy record of their career via Thrill Jockey Records. “The Ganfeld EP,” out October 16th precedes Matmos’ full-length, The Marriage of True Minds, due out early 2013. The timing is apt — as Thrill Jockey celebrates twenty years as a label, Matmos members M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel celebrate their own twenty-year anniversary as musical and romantic partners this fall.
As previously described, the EP and album have the same conceptual basis: telepathy. For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became a kind of score that was then used by Matmos to generate music. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment.
Matmos are now sharing the first track off of this EP, “Very Large Green Triangles (Edit).” “Very Large Green Triangles (Edit)” begins with a tiny sung riff which the test subject Ed Schrader seemed to hear in his mind during his psychic session. This riff is paired with a classic Baltimore club beat and orchestral and choral stabs faintly reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack music for “The Omen.” The result is a kind of urban gothic anthem to a primordial geometric image generated during a psychic experiment. Ed was asked to re-sing words and phrases from his psychic transcript, and these vocal snippets are chopped and stacked over a frantic vogue-ball kick drum pattern.
Thu. Sep. 13 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live [Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary Show w/ Future Islands, Tortoise, Dan Friel, Arbouretum, Pontiak, Special Guest Host: Ed Schrader]
Sat. Sep. 15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall [Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary Show w/ Future Islands, Tortoise, Liturgy, D. Charles Speer, Special Guests: The Black Twig Pickers]