On the night after Swans, legendary purveyors of bombast and gore, played Bristol’s Trinity Centre, it might be expected that US duo Matmos’ gig at Colston Hall’s Lantern venue would provide some respite for Avon ears. However, what ensued could easily beat Swans for a deeply unsettling experience.
Matmos are experts in experimental electronic music, ‘experimental’ being the operative word. For their latest album, ‘The Marriage of True Minds’, they utilised the paranormal, bombarding blindfolded volunteers with barrages of light and noise, crafting the album’s tracks around the victim’s verbal utterances. For much of tonight’s performance, it feels like the audience are being bombarded in much the same way.
With a dense set of electronic machinery, the twosome combine thudding beats with harsh, screeching electronic squeals and beeps and a video backdrop. When the visuals are of a skeletal, misshapen human face, the combination with the loud audio emissions are unnerving to say the least. According to the band, they have been criticised in the past for having rehearsed their shows too much, but for this tour they are “much more unrehearsed”.
M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, Ph.D., are clearly fond of their geek tech, and the setup tonight often invokes moments from Red Dwarf or Stormtrooper dialogue. There is a “jerk-off camera” which monitors a metronome, and an oscilloscope which monitors the ‘musical’ patterns. Matmos enjoy using unusual sounds, and in the past have utilised liposuction and the turning of a Bible’s pages. Tonight the standout moment is when an audience member is asked to pull on a large roll of sellotape, creating a grating, squeeking sound.
A Matmos gig certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, and is experimental music at its most extreme.
Album Review: Busking Beyond Borders - David FisherRead more
Review: Alela Diane concludes European tour with polished St George's performanceRead more
Review: Snail Mail at Thekla - earnest indie rock for a new generationRead more
Review: 'The King' - entertainingly novel, if slightly misfiring, doc on the life of Elvis PresleyRead more
Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Paul Weller at The Downs FestivalRead more
Preview: The Downs, Bristol returns with most impressive line up to dateRead more
Review: Echo & The Bunnymen top nostalgic bill for opening Skyline Series showRead more
Review: Bristol Comedy Garden '18 is in full bloom on final dayRead more
Review: The laughs return to Queen Square as Bristol Comedy Garden '18 opensRead more
Review: Cracking into the live music monster at Dot To Dot '18Read more
Preview: Dot To Dot 2018 - Our Top 5 PicksRead more
Review: Undersong at Barton Hill Settlement, MayfestRead more
Doug Hream Blunt brings his unique funk to Mayfest @ The Cube with some new friendsRead more
Review: Drenge host boisterous Grand Reopening at The LanternRead more
Review: Czech National Orchestra deliver Jaws in Concert at Colston HallRead more
Review: Score - an enjoyable celebration of Hollywood's unsung heroesRead more
Review: Fredo's post-snowpocalyptic sell-out at Marble FactoryRead more
Review: The Mavericks' kick off European tour with sparkling Colston Hall performanceRead more
Review: 'I am Heath Ledger'Read more
Review: Shed Seven at O2 AcademeyRead more