Carte Postale: Matmos
The affair with Kronos diminished my awe of Matmos, but only for a day or two. What I love about the duo is their intimate and playful approach to the creative musical process. Standing inches away from them at ATA, I watched Drew manipulate a crackle box while Martin quickly devoured a granola bar. (He proceeded to crinkle the wrapper near the microphone.) Watching them "goof around" like this was far more engaging than contemplating that video! These hands-on, music-making details are somewhat lost in a large venue or on cd but reveal a degree of creative involvement that I, as a performer, fully appreciate. And from a purely aural perspective (whether in a concert hall or via a pair of headphones) the wrappers and toys and processed sounds do become the perfect mysterious counterpoint to the more danceable rhythms, beats and loops that one (almost) expects from their music. I envy how Matmos walks that line between too weird and too accessible. Case in point: one of my favorite moments at the Kronos concert was when Drew stood up and kept time with a tambourine! The flashy gesture seemed silly and brave...but also, musically appropriate. It was necessary in the way that the video was, perhaps, not.