The Marriage Of True Minds
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 00:03
Like all of its albums, the latest record by the Baltimore electronic duo Matmos lives and dies on its concept. The more ethereal premise of The Marriage Of True Minds doesn’t have the brilliance of the pair’s operating table masterpiece A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure—but it’s just as irresistible.
The joy of any Matmos album lies in the dissonance between the giddy list of found sounds the band samples and the squelchy and disturbing ways they’re put to use on record—on Cure, electronic acupuncture pulses made for jaunty new-wave disco, or the sound of human fat being sucked through tubes plays against flighty electronic grooves.
For the new record, band members Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel attempted to telepathically communicate the concept of the album to a group of test subjects in isolation chambers. The images and sounds the volunteers came up with provided melodies and inspiration for the album.
“Very Large Green Triangles” is the strongest show of this nutty concept, as test subject Ed Schrader hums a riff that gets paired with a slamming club beat. The duo uses its signature gurgles and pops in a way that creates intriguing drama, as in the standout “Teen Paranormal Romance.”
Even though many of the compositions are upbeat, even joyful, Minds is awash in the stench of paranoia. Skin-crawling samples and eerie effects have always been second nature to Matmos, and the oft-discredited field of telepathy seems a perfect fit. The concept of Minds elevates gimmickry to the level of insane brilliance.