Plastic Anniversary by Matmos; Bandcamp Link: Plastic Anniversary
I’ve been thinking about this album for several days now and have been having a hard time gestating an appropriate write up.
I’ll start from the basics.
Matmos’ main modus operandi is to take found sounds, (recordings, samples, foley work,) and create new compositions from those sounds.
Generally, each of their albums will have at its core a theme or family of sounds which will dictate the choices for the album.
For example, on “A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure”, the core of the sounds were taken from various medical procedures. On “The Civil War” they used samples from vintage musical instruments. For “Ultimate Care II” they pulled the core of the sounds from their Maytag Ultimate Care II Washing machine.
In a way, they rebuild their orchestra from scratch for each album!
The theme of “Plastic Anniversary” is plastics. Most of the samples used to produce the sounds on the album were taken from plastic items. PVC Pipe, Plastic Buckets, Plastic Whistles, Vuvuzelas, a particularly tuneful pill shaped plastic container, etc.
While the theme of plastic, as it clogs our lives and waterways with nearly indestructible matter, is, at its core a bit sobering, the music is not.
For the most part is is fairly light hearted, reminding me a bit of Jean-Jacques Perrey’s early electronic music, as in the theme to the electric light parade, or more accurately, some of his more percussive work with Gershon Kingsley like “The Unidentified Flying Object” or “Spooks in Space”.
The final track, though, “Plastisphere”, is a nice contemplative change from the propulsive music of most of the rest of the album. Sounding like Matmos simply left microphones on in someone’s suburban lawn as birds chirp, the wind blows, and lawn sprinklers cycle, it is, in fact composed using foley work, and, created entirely using sounds from plastic sources.
It is a synthetic world.
The two primary members of Matmos, Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt celebrated their 25th anniversary of being together while making the album.
#Matmos #PlasticAnniversary #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack