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Livewire: Matmos @ 5th Dimension (2010.03.26)

Photos & words: Greg Szeto

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MP3: Matmos – Complete Live Set

Matmos are a Puckish pair of experimental electronic troublemakers who played a fully quadrophonic set at this show, opening for UK trio Konk Pack and like-minded locals Leprechaun Catering. Fortunately, I think the set still translates very well after compression to 2 channels. They also swelled their ranks mid-set by recruiting a host of friends who layered real live instruments into their musique concrete offerings, including drums and most notably, local experimental catalyst John Berndt‘s saxophone. Matmos once again proved their deft compositional chops, and stand atop the hill as one of a select few experimental musicians who can get a crowd thinking as easily as they get them moving.

Total time: 44:07

Recorded by:

David Carter(carteriffic@gmail.com)

Preview: Konk Pack, Matmos, Leprechaun Catering @ the 5th Dimension (2010.03.26)

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  1. MP3: The Work – Cain & Abel from Slow Crimes (1982)
  2. MP3: Konk Pack – Off Leash Excerpt from Off Leash (2004)

Tentative plan for tonight: 930PM start, order (first to last) = Matmos > Leprechaun Catering > Konk Pack

Tonight, Baltimore is once again ground-zero for an atom-bomb of experimental improv talents. Firstly, there are few openers that hit harder than the one-two punch of local luminaries Leprechaun Catering and Matmos. The former’s ever-engrossing, stream of thought racket combines seamlessly with the latter’s deft compositions that somehow use unconventional tools to mine the deepest pits of experimentalism, and emerge with gleaming gold nuggets of pop.

But people around here already know that. So I’m going to take a second and introduce tonight’s special guests, British/German imrpov trio Konk Pack. Read the rest…

Help the True Vine!


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MP3: Matmos – Orban from Supreme Balloon (2008)

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MP3: Dan Higgs – Untitled 1 from Plays The Mirror Of The Apocalypse (2005)

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MP3: Jana Hunter – Valkyries

One of our city’s finest record stores (run by two of its nicest guys) is in abit of a financial rough patch.  To this, you probably respond: “Who isn’t?!”

But consider that the True Vine is one of a quickly vanishing breed: the highly-curated brick and mortar record store.  Jason Willett and Stewart Mostofsky run a timeless institution in a refreshingly old-school manner.  Walking through their doors feels like walking into a knowledgeable friend’s house, and that’s a rare thing these days (especially in retail).  For better or worse, Spin Magazine recognized True Vine as one of its top 15 indie record stores in America.

Help them pay off some of the lingering bills so they can get back to the business of finding and providing lovingly hand-picked music to your ears, worry-free.  They’ve gathered what has already been declared an unfuckwithable bill of veritable local superstars: Matmos, CEX, Dan Higgs, Jana HunterCoo Coo Rockin Time, Bill Mace, Golden Birthday and Jefrey Brown.

More goodies from our vaults:

Matmos interview here

One time, CEX wrote some haikus for us

Jana Hunter, CEX and Matmos gabbed with us prior to Whartscape 2008

The benefit show kicks off at tonight at 9PM sharp, Floristree in the H&H Building. Tickets are $10, and True Vine will also be selling hand-picked and burned mix CD-Rs for $7 (which are great) and apparel for prices unknown.  Buy it all, and show Jason & Stew your love for the True Vine by making sure it weathers this financial shit-storm.

2008 Wrap-Up (Alex) – Live Performances

Luckily, my editor is on in-between semester break. Otherwise, I’m sure he would be in T.A. mode and grade my late post accordingly…

However, I dragged my feet somewhat deliberately. What’s the point of a 2008 summation if you don’t have at least a little critical distance between current time, and the past year? One doesn’t write a book report until the book is actually finished. A conclusion about a hypothesis can’t be reached until the experiment is actually completed. You don’t say, “Wow, baby…that was some good sex,” until the deal is sealed–unless you’re an ego-tripping moron with a teenager’s maturity level.

January 29, 2008 was my emergence from the world of sub-par print music journalism into the realm of much more serious online music writing. I don’t take credit for the upgrade; that goes solely to Greg Szeto, the music editor at my former publication, and the founder and managing editor of Aural States. I know good coat tails when I seem them, and I was really excited to jump into this venture with Greg. 

The results have been unthinkable, really. Much of the work I’ve felt the best about, and been the most proud of in the past several years has been for Aural States.
For me, 2008 has been a year of amazing music–recorded, live, and starting recently, making it again. To be accurate this journey’s proper beginnings are in the fall of 2007, but isn’t it weird how events usually arise from prior events in sequential order? Event chains, I think they are called.  I have been into music all my life, but 2008 is unique in the fact that I actually, in some small way, took a spot in a broader network of music, and culture-of-music people. I began blogging, and people were actually reading what I wrote.

This status of blogger doesn’t feel quite like it fits yet. Around Baltimore, indie/hipsters types (definitely loaded words, which are commonly mistaken for being synonymous with “music types”) don such close-fitting clothes. Perhaps, feeling as though this is a role I need to grow into is a healthier stance, than having skin-tight clothing restricting, and inhibiting movement (read: critical movement, and development).

Also, clothes being the signifiers that they are designate people into one group. I personally don’t fit into one single group musically, and probably not socially, either. From my understanding (and I think it’s an accurate understanding) the same goes for Aural States. To be clear, this does not mean AS has to be everything musically to fulfill our eclectic mission statement, but we simply need to be who we are, and only who we are.

And who are we? Music geeks: pure, unabashed, genuine music geeks.

My (Highly Subjective) Most Memorable Live Performances of 2008 (in no order, and it’s more than 10)
Read the rest…

High Zero Festival 2008: M. C. Schmidt Interview

Matmos should be familiar to Aural States readers (we did an in-depth interview with the duo back in February), so it was a pleasure to sit back down with Martin Schmidt of Matmos and discuss his involvement in the now-underway High Zero Festival, among other topics.

This interview became much less of a dialogue, and more of Martin recounting his past. Which is all just as well; it’s still very interesting.

Matmos has become something like ” your friendly neighborhood glitch-ish group” around Baltimore. Make sure to say hello to Martin at the new True Vine. Read the rest…

Whartscape 2008 Day 1 Review


Thursday night, the first night of Whartscape, had that still new and fresh feeling…virginal maybe? Open seats were hard to find in theater 1 of the Charles. Wharstscape posters adorned the wall with phrases like “Worm Paste,” and “Owl Dad.” As with much of Wham City, I have no clue what either poster means, and it’s implied that I’m not supposed to know.
Read the rest…

Countdown to Whartscape: All systems go! Last minute mini-terview w/ Dr. Drew Daniel (Matmos)

1. Describe your feelings on Wham City and what it means to you?

When I first was making a decision about whether or not to take job
offers in Toronto and Baltimore I told my grad students in a class at
the Art Institute about the tossup and one of my super energetic and
hilarious students from Baltimore started ranting about Wham City and
how righteous the scene here was and telling me that I should skip
Toronto. I took her advice and haven’t regretted it. (Sorry Toronto!)

2. Describe your feelings on Whartscape and what it means to you?

The show we are playing takes place on my birthday so it mostly means
Happy Birthday! Aside from that, it’s the fest that we missed last
year because we were moving and now we get to play in the sweet spot
with some of my favorite people from this city. Being on a bill with
Leprechaun Catering and Nautical Almanac is intimidating.

3. Describe your feelings on Baltimore and what it means to you?

More than I can say in a questionnaire.

4. Come up with a snappy tagline/mantra/motto for one or more of the following: Baltimore, Wham City and Whartscape.

You’re never going to top “The City That Reads” for Baltimore.

5. If all Whartscape performers were required to don some sort of
costumage, in the spirit of Baltimore, Whartscape and Wham City, what would
yours be and why?

I would wear a snake costume because Baltimore has been a
skin-shedding place for me.

4.5.08-Blectum from Blechdom @ Load of Fun

Seeing a reunited Blectum from Blechdom perform last night at Load of Fun took me back to the good old days of the early 00s (nearly 10 years ago!) It was a time when the whole laptop scene was blowing up– all Kid606, Cex, Tigerbeat6, and Oakland, CA.

Read the rest…

Matmos Interview Part 3 of 3 (w/ Drew, Martin)

In this, the final installment of the Matmos interview, Martin and Drew talk about what makes an action art, and about working with Bjork.

Hope you all have enjoyed it!

For refreshers, goto Part 1 and Part 2
Read the rest…

Matmos Interview Part 2 of 3 (w/ Drew, Martin)

I had originally intended to post this interview in two halves, but I am now opting to post it in thirds. So, here is the second segment.

At this point in the interview my mini disc recorder failed, and the rest was taped on a cassette over a recording of Martin destroying his father’s speakers…just thought you’d like to know.

For a refresher course, see Part 1 of 3.

Read the rest…

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