Matmos announce new album The Consuming Flame ft. Oneohtrix Point Never, Yo La Tengo, Giant Swan + more

July 8, 2020
Matmos self-portrait by the band

Matmos announce new album
The Consuming Flame:
Open Exercises in Group Form

due out Aug. 21st

The Consuming Flame features contributions from 99 different musicians, including Oneontrix Point Never, Yo La Tengo, Giant Swan, Marisa Anderson and more, all synchronised at a steady tempo of 99 beats per minute

Listen to excerpt “No Concept” featuring clipping. and David Grubbs:

For more than 25 years, Matmos have remained one of the most consistently exciting acts in electronic music. This summer, the duo present a vast expansion of their genre-less approach to composition with arguably their most ambitious album to date, The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form. Oriented around a deceptively simple idea, the album features contributions from 99 different musicians,  all given only one simple instruction: they could play anything that they wanted, but the tempo of any rhythmic material had to be set at 99 beats per minute. The resulting album is a three-hour long assemblage that travels across a shifting kaleidoscope of genre, mood and density, all synchronized to a constant underlying tempo. The Consuming Flame will be released on August 21st. The triple-CD mega mix (intended as one long piece) is packaged with a large poster that  visually, through color-coded bars, tracks the exact timing  of each of the 99 guest musicians’ contributions.

Even for Matmos, The Consuming Flame’s 99 participants are wildly eclectic. Some are collaborators that have worked with Matmos for many years, while others are near total strangers found through open calls on internet forums for contributions at 99 beats per minute. There are players from the conservatory-trained world of “new music” (Kate Soper,Jennifer Walshe) and figures from the extreme music underground (members of Pig DestroyerSutekh Hexen and Locrian), as well as auteurs from the world of “noise” music (Twig Harper, Moth Cock, Bromp Treb, Id M Theft Able). There are distinguished alumni and contemporary luminaries of electronic music (Mouse on Mars, Daniel Lopatin / Oneohtrix Point Never, DeForrest Brown Jr., J. G. Thirlwell, Matthew Herbert, Rabit and Giant Swan) alongside artists associated with indie rock and folk traditions (Yo La Tengo and Marisa Anderson). Part exquisite-corpse and part virtual festival, the results retain Matmos’ distinct and unique voice despite the promiscuously open nature of these collaborations. 

Though the album was mastered and finalized a few months before the coming of COVID, social distancing and quarantine, in certain odd respects its formal gambit of the remote assemblage of contributions from across distance offers a curiously fitting soundtrack for the “group forms” we now assemble together across platforms and media. Tender, funny, strange and ultimately oddly moving, The Consuming Flame shows Matmos bringing diverse people together around a steady pulse. It’s a relay race across the gaps in genre and experience that divide us.

Matmos – The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form

Disc 1 – A Doughnut in the Sky
Disc 2 – I’m on the Team
Disc 3 – Extraterrestrial Masters

Pre-order Matmos’ The Consuming Flame:

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