[AH] Matmos - "Supreme Balloon"

From Andrew Horton
Sent Thu, May 22nd 2008, 18:56

Why isn't anyone talking about this record? Matmos, who have made a
bunch of great records on their own and helped Bjork make her last
two, have done an all-synthesizer album for their new release.

"Gear fetishists take note: the exotic and antiquated synths used on
the record heavily spotlight the classic 60s/70s/80s consumer
electronic rigs of Arp, Korg, Roland, Waldorf and Moog, and feature
modular systems from Electro-Comp, Doepfer and Akai (hell, even a
stylophone and a Suzuki Omnichord show up); these were recorded at
home in San Francisco, California and in the SnowGhost studio at
Whitefish, Montana. But there are also completely unique,
one-of-a-kind modular curios present, such as the "Coupigny" modular
synthesizer housed in the INA/GRM studios at Radio France in Paris and
used extensively by some of the titans of musique-concrete. Guest
players invited to the party include living treasure of American jazz
Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra (he plays the E.V.I. or
Electronic Voice Instrument, a breath controlled oscillator, on
"Mister Mouth"), Bay Area troublemakers Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly),
East Coast electroacoustic sages Jay Lesser and Keith Fullerton
Whitman, and classically trained pianist Sarah Cahill. Plus, our
roll-call of the good and great would be remiss if we didn't mention
that the gatefold double vinyl and ITunes edition of the album also
includes the bonus track "Hashish Master" that features a guest solo
synth improvisation from none-other-than minimalist mastermind Terry
Riley(!). Though it was recorded all over the world over the last two
years, the whole shebang was finished in Baltimore, Maryland (the
band's new home, at least as long as Drew Daniel is a professor in the
English Department at Johns Hopkins University), and comes encased in
some truly gorgeous watercolor artwork by Robert Syrett."

I've been really digging the album a lot - I bought the double-vinyl,
and it's totally worth it for the extra content and the big-sized
Archigram-style art. This should basically be everyone on AH's #1
album of the year, in my opinion.