Expanding upon the ambitious premise of their recently released “The Ganzfeld EP,” Baltimore-based electronic duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt) are about to release their first new full-length album in five years on Thrill Jockey records: The Marriage of True Minds.
Matmos are known for making toe-tapping rhythmic pop out of odd and unusual sound sources. They have always worn genre loosely, but it’s safe to say that this is the first electronic album to start with tap dancing and end with doom metal. Comprising stomping techno, eerie synth jams, musique concrete, Latin rhythms, and Ethiopian music, at once at home in the academy, the art gallery, the nightclub and the noise warehouse, the dizzyingly diverse assemblage which is The Marriage of True Minds is driven by a tightly unified conceptual agenda: 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. The resulting transcripts of the videotaped psychic experiments became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album.
On The Marriage of True Minds, guest musicians including Dan Deacon, Dominique Leone, DJ Dog Dick, Leslie Weiner and Holger Hiller (Palais Schaumberg), Jason Willett (Half Japanese), Angel Deradoorian, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and more all go under the digital editing knife as they are chopped into tight, surprisingly listenable songs which-for the first time in Matmos’ work- prominently feature vocalists and voices. The album features an array of sonic tactics, and a broad swathe of musical styles, but this diversity is joined together with a common purpose: the translation of this archive of psychic experiments into a delirious hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop.
The Marriage of True Minds is out February 19th on Thrill Jockey Records.
The Marriage of True Minds tracklisting:
2. Very Large Green Triangles
3. Mental Radio
4. Ross Transcript
5. Teen Paranormal Romance
7. In Search of A Lost Faculty
8. Aetheric Vehicle