BY RON HART
The Ganzfeld experiment is one of the most fascinating styles in the history of para-psychology, where sensory depravation is utilized to test individuals for ESP by covering their eyes, masking their ears in white noise for 30 minutes and are then asked to describe a message the sender is attempting to transmit to them upon his or her observance of randomly chosen images, be it a cat, a loaf of bread or a pencil.
For their latest full-length, acclaimed electronic duo Matmos take this concept into the realm of musical creation, using the transcripts from the subjects co-founder Drew Daniel employed both at his Baltimore home and Oxford University to craft the crux of the nine-song The Marriage of True Minds, the pair’s label debut on Chicago indie Thrill Jockey.
And when the guinea pigs include such prolific underground and experimental names as Dan Deacon (“Tunnel”), Ed Schraeder (“Very Large Green Triangles”), out-rock guitar hero Keith Fullerton-Whitman (“Aethertic Vehicle”) and Bloody Panda throat Gerry Mak (a black metal deconstruction of the Buzzcocks nugget “E.S.P.”), interesting isn’t the word to begin the description of this record.
The final outcome is the most intriguing and innovative Matmos LP since A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure, a swirling menagerie of hard rock riffs, rubber band basslines, old school techno rolls, Eastern strings, Latino rhythms, African grooves, dour synths, processed bagpipes and samples of a Chinese Checkers game that not only celebrate the twenty-year relationship between Daniel and longtime partner M.C. Schmidt in art but in love as well. And you don’t need a sixth sense to recognize their place at the vanguard of modern composition.
DOWNLOAD: “Tunnel”, “Very Large Green Triangles”, “Aethertic Vehicle”