Matmos, Wobbly and J Lesser - Simultaneous Quodlibet [Important Records - 2010]This album started life as some off-the-cuff group improvisations recorded while Matmos, Wobbly and J.Lesser were on a tour in the USA. The improvisations were then
heavily chopped and screwed, layered onto each other, and then had additional overdubs of drums, organs, and other more unusual items added to them at Snowghost Studios in Montana.
The tracks themselves sound far more planned than you would expect from pieces that started life as improvisations. Itís almost as if the album is divided into three sections. The first few tracks all seem to follow a sort of pattern in that they start off sounding like the aural equivalent of a Burroughs cut up. Bits start up and then cut to something else chopping and changing for a while with an almost early Nurse With Wound like feel to them (clankings, whirrings and random found sounds thrown in for good measure). The pieces then settle into a more structured sounding piece with a noticeable rhythm underpinning them (think Aphex Twin Drukqs) and then finishing with a move back into more randomness.
The middle section of the album is a move towards an ambient feel. More spacious pieces with very little happening sound wise on top of again similar rhythms though perhaps with more of a nod towards Autechre. The disjointed-ness of those types of rhythms giving the ambience a slightly less comfortable feel.
The last third of the album is more of a mishmash of styles. Again dictated by the rhythms things move from a jazz feel to another ambient piece to a more in your face noisy piece to more Autechre/ Aphex Warp sounding tracks.
As a whole the album works pretty well and its mix of improvisation and more worked out elements gives it the advantage of having something new to notice on repeated listens. Iím not familiar with what Matmos usually releases so Iím unable to compare it to that but if itís anything like this then Iíll be heading that way soon.David Bourgoin