Exit Music Review SectionMusic Review Navigation Menu
A Viable Alternative To Actual Sexual Contact

Matmos (Vague Terrain Recordings)
A Viable Alternative To Actual Sexual Contact
(Piehead Records)

Only a month or so after dropping their limited Live With J Lesser release, Matmos is back with another super limited release, this time under a pseudonym (for contractual reasons). Release number 7 in the innagural limited edition series from newcomers Piehead Records, this 9 track, 50-minute printed CDR is at the same time some of the most and least accessible music that Matmos has ever created.

As the title somewhat suggests (and the album states on the inside liner notes), the songs on this release were originally used as soundtrack music for primarily fetish oriented gay pornography. Being the sound cultivators that they are, the duo gathered on-set dialogue and audio from raw footage of the films they were given and used a fair bit of it in the creation of the record. It's for that reason that most people will probably find this release a bit off-putting. Although Lords Of Acid have pulled the naughty sex theme many times before, there are small clips of audio on the disc that will make most listeners blush a bit. As the liner notes also say, 'adults only, please.' The duo has even taken on the hilarious monikers of 'Chase Cambridge' and 'Nick Peterson' for the release.

That said, musically the release is easily some of the more friendly that the duo has ever composed. Most of the tracks on the disc roll along with thick beats and some with downright catchy melodies. "Total Muscle Control" starts the disc in earnest with a rumbling low-end keyboard riff and chunky beats, but is also offset with a pitch-bent whipcrack and groans. Meanwhile, "Fist Power" again throbs (pun intended) with another thick keyboard bassline and clicks and snaps that sound like rubber gloves (but is probably something else) being stretched out.

Most of the music on the disc is pretty darn fun, and indeed it seems like the duo mainly took on the project as a way to get down some of their less-experimental ideas. "The Rose Bud Opens" is an off-kilter deep lounge track with strummed guitars, while "In The Master Bedroom" works a super-funky mid-tempo groove with outbursts of squiggly electronics, horns, and rapid-fire breakbeats. The big winner on the album, though, is the centerpiece of "Baby, Don't Make It Too Interesting," which rolls for over 12 minutes with a smooth, dark vibe. By the end, it's turned into almost a rave-up track, but shows the group could probably spit out a radio-friendly album with a slight edge in their sleep.

If you're a Matmos completist, you're probably going to want to hunt down this release while waiting until their next album drops sometime next year, especially since the release run is limited to only 300 copies. As only one release in the series (which also includes excellent artists such as David Kristian, Chris Jeely, and V.M.) on Piehead, this is a small label to definitely watch in the future. Although I mentioned above that this release is some of the more accessible that Matmos has done, I still can't possibly imagine it being used in actual films, as the vibe is still dark enough in most tracks that it's downright creepy sometimes (especially on the eerie ambience of "Repeating Like An Idee Fixe"). Definitely a bit strange, but also oddly compelling.

Rating: 6.75