Matmos

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Biography

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 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 CD. Matmos also produced 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 (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 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 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 single from album. Four years later, she invited Matmos to collaborate more extensively on 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 CD and DVD. In 2004, Matmos produced one of the tracks on Björk's . 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 (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 – , 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 , 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, , 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 CDr on Vague Terrain. A few smaller-scale releases followed in 2004, such as a with Die Monitr Bats on Ache Records, and a 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. , another concept album on Matador, was released in 2006 – ten 'sound portraits' of various (both well-acknowledged and obscure) homos