Two years after The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form, Baltimore-based duo Matmos have released a new album called Regards / Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer whichis out now via Thrill Jockey Records. Check the full streaming below and read the full story.
Having assembled 99 collaborators for their previous album The Consuming Flame, on their new album Baltimore-based electronic duo Matmos focus upon just one person: Polish polymath Bogusław Schaeffer. Celebrated for his genre bending boundless creativity Poland’s Schaeffer innovated for decades across the boundaries of classical composition, electronic experimentation, and radical theater in playful form-breaking ways. A member of the influential avant-garde “Cracow Group”, Schaeffer was a prolific creator and an influential educator whose works often were under the western cultural radar. Enter Matmos, selected by the Instytutu Adama Mickiewicza for their like-minded adherence to experimentation, who were given access to entire catalogue of Schaeffer’s recorded works. In the spirit of both Matmos and Schaefer there were no parameters imposed on the use. The results are neither performances nor remixes, they are entirely new works that take tissue samples of DNA from past compositions and mutate them into entirely new organisms that throb with singular vitality. What emerges across this suite of eight new songs is a composite portrait of the utopian 1960s Polish avant-garde and the contemporary dystopian cultural moment regarding each other across a distance.
Like the anagrams of the letters of Bogusław Schaeffer’s name that were re-assembled to create some of the song titles, the album itself is a musical re-assemblage of component parts into possible but unforeseen new shapes. Adding harp from Irish harpist Úna Monaghan, erhu, viola and violin from Turkish multi-instrumentalist Ulas Kurugullu, and electronic processes from Baltimore instrument builder Will Schorre and Horse Lords wunderkind Max Eilbacher, the resulting arrangements constantly toy with scale as they move from the close-mic-ing of ASMR and the intimacy of chamber music to the immensity of processed drones and oceanic field-recordings that close the album.