Matmos - The Marriage of True Minds

by Rich Morris Rating:8 Release Date:2013-02-18

Here's a new album with a wacky concept from those krrr-azy Matmos boys: The Marriage of True Minds is apparently is the result of four years of parapsychological (yes, indeed!) experiments, based on the Ganzfeld (or total field) experiment, during which participants where deprived of sensory inputs and Matmos attempted to telepathically transmit the concept of the album to the subject, who would then describe any images or sounds which occurred to them. The compositions on this album are based on their responses. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either, but Matmos are basically not The Killers, is your takeaway lesson here.

 

The resulting album is, unsurprisingly, a challenging listen, but no more challenging than those familiar with the oeuvre of these former Bjork collaborators will expect. Certain tracks, such as the lovely opener 'You', 'Teen Paranormal Romance' and 'Aetheric Vehicle', are tuneful, absorbing, moving slices of electronica. Other tunes, especially 'Ross Transcript', and the downright funky 'Mental Radio', are a bricolage collection of found sounds, knob-twiddling, vocal interjections and assorted clanking oddness.

 

Their cover of Buzzcocks 'ESP' (which, closing the album, sort of makes sense within its theme), meanwhile, is just funking mental. A doom metal dirge, reminiscent of Boris and Sunn O)))), with an almost comically guttural vocal, it drags itself along howling and groaning for a good three minutes before transforming into some sort of electro-junkyard-punk-jazz knees-up. Actually, there really aren't adequate words to describe it. Suffice to say it's bonkers and brilliant and quite catchy, and you should make sure you hear it.

 

Also very strong is 'In Search of a Lost Faculty' in which voices, presumably those of the experiment's participants, describe hearing chiming, ringing sounds over appropriately trippy music which recalls Cluster's brilliant 'Gissander'. I just wish they had left out the bagpipes. Seriously, Matmos, sometimes you can go a little too far.

 

Nothing here is bad or an outright failure, although some of it will likely get on your nerves a bit. 'Very Large Green Triangles' is the main offender here, which is build round a vocal snippet which quite rapidly gets annoying. This track and the following 'Tunnel' could do with a little of the variation and free-wheeling creatively on show elsewhere.

 

But these are little niggles. The Marriage of True Minds will make you gasp and laugh out loud more than once at its makers audacity. It also contains some surprisingly moving moments as well as a couple of downright unnerving ones. What more could you ask for?

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