Matmos “Returns To Archive” 

November 2023 | MUSIC, 23/11

An uncompromising electronic music duo, Matmos have earned their reputation by basing their music on the use of non-musical samples, in the manner of the precursors of musique concrète. The samples on their album A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure, for example, are derived exclusively from sounds produced during surgical operations. Their exposure to a wider audience came with the important part they played in the production of Bjork’s Vespertine and Medúlla albums. For their latest project, they decided to delve into the non-musical part of Folkways Record’s incredible sound archives. Drawing heavily on field recordings, we encounter the human voice, insect noises, dolphin noises, barking, bells, buzzers and other detonations. But there is a very little space here for a pop or dance approach, as can be found in some of their previous productions. We are much closer to the early work of GRM and Pierre Henry. As the title of one track puts it: ‘Music Or Noise?’, make up your own mind!