Album Release Show!


Matmos, Amanda Schmidt

Fri · November 16, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is all ages

Towards the Shadow, the third full-length from Wume, the Baltimore duo of April Camlin (drums, vocals) and Albert Schatz (keyboards, electronics), offers eight exploratory, polyrhythmic jams taking the listener on an excursion deep into inner space—not as a form of escape, but rather in search of purpose and personal liberation in a time of chaos.

While Wume draws much inspiration from past masters, with a particular rooting in German cosmic sounds of the 1970s, their music has always celebrated forward-motion and growth—the name “Wume” both nodding to the hometown of the legendary band Faust and homonymously suggesting gestation. Towards the Shadow announces a new phase for the band featuring a bold expansion of their palette, distilling influences as different as Francis Bebey, Midori Takada, Erkin Koray, and Alice Coltrane into interdimensional songs born of profound personal change. While Wume’s sound remains rooted in crisp, precise, and dizzyingly intricate percussion worthy of comparison to Can wedded to harmonic synth patterns and kaleidoscopic electronic textures, Towards the Shadow also features guitar, treated violin, hand percussion, field recordings, and, on “Pool of Light,” a player-piano improvisation (an instrument borrowed from Dan Deacon, with whom both Camlin and Schatz frequently collaborate).

Significantly, Towards the Shadow centralizes vocals and lyrics more than any prior Wume outing. It’s not simply that Camlin’s voice is more dominant in the mix. Once employed to ride waves of sound or convey abstract feeling, Camlin’s lyrics here grapple head-on with deep philosophical issues probed during an intense period of reading, self-teaching, and focus on her artistic practice in weaving, resulting in real breakthroughs and dramatic shifts in perspective.

On standout “Shadow,” Camlin sings about facing the darkness that many bright and creative people bury deep within. Lyrics like “I embrace my shadow/It’s the self that I know/Go below the ego/And welcome your shadow/Repression serves no one/And limits our freedom” affirm a willingness to not only confront the most secretive aspects of ourselves but learn to love them. “Pool of Light” reconjures dream images Camlin experienced over the course of crafting this record; “It’s Okay” champions an acceptance of human impermanence unreliant on religion or a belief in any afterlife; and “Functionary” even features a reading from Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, a transformative and empowering text for Camlin.

This is a record that looks within and asks listeners to do the same, a record that has the guts to give its listeners not only diversion, but challenges: to know themselves better; to question and confront systems of power; to not just keep going, but keep growing. But Wume never ask for more than they give; each time the listener takes Towards the Shadow’s illuminating journey through to the album’s stunner of a closing track “GenSeq,” they’ll find their inner battery recharged, their ears and mind newly attuned to the complex worlds they face—both within and without.
Matmos is an American experimental/electronic music group formed by partners M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. Currently based in Baltimore, the duo was established in San Francisco in the mid-nineties, and self-released debut Matmos album on their Vague Terrain label in 1997.

The band quickly gained recognition for the conceptual, post-modernist approach and eagerness to constantly reinvent Matmos, while keeping the audience on their toes. Another distinctive feature is a unique post-'musique concrete' sound extraction and sampling technique, aimed to produce very listenable music from highly conceptual (and at times maybe even abstruse) ideas. Schmidt and Daniel exploit multiple unusual and bizarre non-musical objects on par with traditional acoustic and electronic instruments: amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, surgery procedures, contact microphones on human hair and other body parts, rat cages, tanks of helium, a cow uterus, human skulls, snails, cigarettes, cards shuffling, life support systems, inflatable blankets, rock salt, solid gold coins, etc.

Matmos have published over ten albums through a long-running collaboration with Matador label, which signed the duo in 1999 and re-released their self-titled debut album, as well as a follow-up Quasi-Objects CD. Matmos also produced The West album on Deluxe Records – an unorthodox take on country and Western music.

Since the beginning of their career, Matmos had been actively partnering and working together with various musicians and artists. Early examples of such collaborations include RGB [ An Audio Spectrum ] (produced with Leif Elggren and Ian M. Mackinnon in 1998), split releases with Piano Magic in 1999 and Motion (2) (in Fat Cat Split Series in 2000), and Full On Night mini-album with Rachel's. Schmidt and Daniel were also members of a glitch project Disc with Miguel Depedro (Kid606) in 1997-98, and recorded Armadillidium Vulgare album as members of a legendary occult-avantgarde band Iao Core. An incomplete list of people who 'either played on a Matmos recording, performed onstage as a member of Matmos, been in another band with Drew Daniel and/or M.C. Schmidt, collaborated with, toured with, commissioned a remix from, or released a recording by Matmos' is available on a group's official website.

An Icelandic superstar-singer Björk became one of their key collaborators and recognized Matmos talents early-on in their career. In 1998, after purchasing Matmos disc in Rough Trade record shop in London, Björk asked the duo to remix Alarm Call single from Homogenic album. Four years later, she invited Matmos to collaborate more extensively on Vespertine album. Subsequently, they became a core members of Björk's live band (with Zeena Parkins and a choir of Inuit women) on Vespertine World Tour (Aug – Dec 2001) and Greatest Hits Tour (May – Sept 2003). Some of the performances were documented on Vespertine Live CD and Vespertine Live At Royal Opera House DVD. In 2004, Matmos produced one of the tracks on Björk's Medúlla. The group also released a couple live albums with other musicians around the same time: Matmos Live with J. Lesser on Vague Terrain in 2002 and Wide Open Spaces (2003) on Tigerbeat6, documenting a concert with People Like Us and Wobbly at the San Francisco Art Institute.

In 2001, Matmos presented a first original conceptual album on Matador – A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure, entirely based on sounds recorded at hospitals (patients' breath during surgery, vibrations of a human skull, the flow of blood in the jugular vein, etc). The band used a number of cutting edge medical tools, such as endoscope microphones, and collected audio samples at different procedures, including liposuction and rhinoplasty. The album was accompanied by California Rhinoplasty EP, which contained a cover on Coil's Disco Hospital, and remixes by Doctor Rockit (Matthew Herbert) and Surgeon (Anthony Child).

Their next album on Matador, The Civil War, continued the exploration of historical music started by The West album. This time, Matmos utilized Irish reels, Scottish bagpipes, and various medieval instruments. In November 2003, Drew and Martin were artists in residence at Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco – they spent over 90 hours improvising and playing music with friends and guests. Highlights from the best performances were compiled and released on Work Work Work CDr on Vague Terrain.

A few smaller-scale releases followed in 2004, such as a Split Seven Inch with Die Monitr Bats on Ache Records, and a Rat Relocation Program in Met Life Location Sound Series on Locust Music. This mini-album include an unedited field recording of a rat inside the trap, as well as a dance/experimental post-processed remix edit of the raw track by Matmos.

The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast, another concept album on Matador, was released in 2006 – ten 'sound portraits' of various (both well-acknowledged and obscure) homosexual icons from around the world, such as William S. Burroughs, Larry Levan, Darby Crash, Patricia Highsmith, Boyd McDonald, Joe Meek, and Valerie Solanas. The album was accompanied by a promo single with Safety Scissors and The Soft Pink Truth (Drew Daniel's solo project) remixes.

To coincide with The Rose Has Teeth In the Mouth of Beast Tour in Sept-Oct 2006, Matmos also produced a mini-CD For Alan Turing, limited to 1000 copies and only sold on tour. The material was originally commissioned by UC Berkeley's Mathematical Sciences Research Institute for inauguration of a new conference hall, and performed at a dedication ceremony in front of mathematicians. On this recording, Matmos collaborated with Matthew Patterson Curry of Safety Scissors, Keith Fullerton Whitman, David Tibet, Blevin Blectum, Mark Lightcap, and Clodagh Simonds.

On Supreme Balloon in 2008, Matmos took an unexpected turn and didn't use a single microphone or any external audio output whatsoever – the entire album was performed and recorded on (mostly vintage and modular) synthesizers. The band traveled around the States and abroad to record specific rare instruments, including Coupigny Modular Synthesizer at Studios INA-GRM in Paris. Guest musicians on the record include Keith Fullerton Whitman, Lesser, Jon Leidecker, Marshall Allen, Sarah Cahill, and Terry Riley (ARP 2600 solo). Drew and Martin couldn't decide which tracks to include in the final mix, so they presented two significantly different selections on CD and LP versions of Supreme Balloon. The duo also released two tracks recorded on Coupigny synth at INA-GRM in France on a limited edition seven-inch.

In 2010, after a decade long record deal with Matador was over, Matmos went on to collaborate with contemporary and new music ensembles. They had a few recording sessions with So Percussion at Brett Allen's SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana – the resulting tracks were chopped and edited by Wobbly, and finally overdubbed and mixed by MC Schmidt and Lawson White to produce Treasure State, released by Cantaloupe Music. The album explores musical resources of everyday and not-so-everyday elemental materials: ceramic planters, pails of water, aluminum beer cans, cactus needles, cans of house paint, etc. Some of the featured guests and contributors include Mark Lightcap on guitar, accordion by Zeena Parkins, Dave Douglas' trumpet, as well as inventor/composer Dan Trueman manipulating ceramic sounds via custom-built Chuck software driven by customized Wii controllers. The concluding track on this release was recorded around samples of Walter Kitundu's 'phono-harp.'

Matmos also created two remixes for Jefferson Friedman, who previously worked on the string arrangements for The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast. They were released on Jefferson Friedman - Chiara String Quartet & Matmos - Quartets CD by New Amsterdam Records in 2011. Back at SnowGhost Studios in Montana, Matmos recorded a few improv sessions with Lesser and Wobbly, which laid foundation for Simultaneous Quodlibet LP on Important Records in 2010. At the same time, Martin Schmidt presented Instant Coffee! LP on Planam, a ltd. edition avant-free improv album with Jason Willett and Lisle Ellis.

Matmos joined Thrill Jockey roster in 2012, and released The Ganzfeld EP and The Marriage Of True Minds album. The concept behind both records is telepathy. Matmos spent four years conducting parapsychological sessions based upon the classic Ganzfeld experiment. But instead of simple graphic images, Drew Daniel attempted to transmit 'the concept of the new Matmos record' directly into the minds of participants, who were put in a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise. The test subjects were then describing out loud anything they saw or heard during 'transmission'. Videotapes and transcripts of the experiments at Baltimore and Oxford University were then utilized to generate and record nine songs on the album.

Many artists participated in psychic experiments and following recording sessions, including Ed Schrader, Dan Deacon, Jason Willett (1/2 Japanese), Carly Ptak (of Nautical Almanac), Angel Deradoorian (ex-Dirty Projectors), Clodagh Simonds (Fovea Hex), DJ Dog Dick, Dominique Leone, Owen Gardner (from Horse Lords), Ashot Sarkissjan of the Arditti Quartet, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock Of Dimes), and Gerry Mak of Brooklyn experimental doom metal band Bloody Panda. One of the tracks on Ganzfeld E.P. is remixed by Rrose (of Sandwell District label). The band also released 8.3 Hours Of Mixes By Matmos as a digital bonus for online pre-orders of The Marriage Of True Minds. Some of the small-scale projects around that time included a digital split I Want Snowden / Sheremetyevo Breakdown Blues with The Disco Yahtzee Empire, only distributed via Tor network, and In Tempo Di Carestia Ogni Buco E Na Galleria tape on Vague Terrain.

In 2016, Matmos presented their next album on Thrill Jockey, Ultimate Care II, which marked a return to more 'traditional' sampling techniques. This time though, all sounds were generated with a single object – Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine. A few guest musicians, such as Dan Deacon, Max Eilbacher, Sam Haberman (Horse Lords), Duncan Moore (Needle Gun), and Jason Willett, either played the washer like a drum or post-processed recorded sounds with samplers, software and hardware effects. No synthesizers or drum machines were used.

Matmos contributed music to a few soundtracks, including Daria Martin's Minotaur film, The Appeal theatrical play by Young Jean Lee, and works of Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Daniel and Schmidt (under fictional names) also made music for five hardcore gay fetish pornographic films – selected tracks with additional snippets of onset dialog were released as a A Viable Alternative To Actual Sexual Contact CDr on Canadian IDM-label Piehead Records in 2002. They recorded a song with David Grubbs for a soundtrack to Les Invisibles, a 2012 documentary about elderly French gays and lesbians, and made a track for The Urbz: Sims in the City video game soundtrack. More recently, Matmos became members of the ensemble for Robert Wilson's production The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (featuring Marina Abramović, Antony Hegarty, and Willem Dafoe).

In twenty years, the duo produced remixes for an eclectic crowd of musicians and bands across genres: Björk, Herbert, Kid606, People Like Us, Wye Oak, Bloody Panda, Sutekh/Twerk, Pluramon, Richard Chartier, Voice Crack, CoH, Oneohtrix Point Never, Slicker, Labradford, Phoenecia, Slag Boom Van Loon, Tipsy, My Robot Friend, Her Space Holiday, Erase Errata, Dan Ghenacia, Ben Parris, Dudley Benson, Hatis Noit, Dani Siciliano, Foetus, Current 93, Melvins, Liars, and Ground Zero (3).
Amanda Schmidt
Amanda Schmidt
Venue Information:
2549 North Howard Street
Baltimore, MD, 21218