Matmos release new video from The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form, their new album due out 21 August,
entitled “No Concept”
The Consuming Flame features contributions from Oneontrix Point Never, Yo La Tengo, Giant Swan, clipping., Marisa Anderson and more
Following the recent announcement of new album The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form, due out 21 August, acclaimed electronic duo Matmos have shared the new video for excerpt “No Concept”. Reflecting the duo’s omnivorous approach to making the record – sculpting contributions from 99 different musicians into a kaleidoscopic piece synchronised at 99bpm, “No Concept” translates The Consuming Flame’s dense audio collages into visual form. Described by the band as “a kind of safari into the visual unconscious”, “No Concept” was created using a trashpile of found materials from children’s books, historical illustrations, discarded magazines, medical texts, flyers for shows, religious pamphlets, product labels, pornography and found photography, assembled and recontextualized into surprising new forms.
Drew Daniel elaborates on the making of “No Concept”: “When quarantine started we turned our dining room table into a “collage station” and just piled up an enormous amount of paper ephemera that was around the house and started to chop it up and create visual collages with glue-sticks. Pulling from a bank of 50 or so collages, M.C. Schmidt scanned them at high-resolution and then created a kind of “pan and scan” animation by moving across elements and flying through layers from these collages, effectively creating an animated collage-of collages out of still images. This is a direct visual analogue to the collaborative group collage principle that created the music.
“No Concept” has elements from people who are from very different musical worlds / styles / scenes / cohorts all playing at the same tempo but unaware of each other’s contributions: Twig Harper and clipping. and David Grubbs and Kevin Gan Yuen and Dale Cornish and Matt Waldron and many others have all been snipped and chopped into place. There is “no concept” other than the endless digressive flow as one thing replaces another which replaces another which replaces another; the purpose is to pull the mind into drooling fascination with change as such, and the slithering world of differences within a constantly similar tempo.”
The Consuming Flame’s three hour-long movements surge and flow across a shifting kaleidoscope of genre, mood and density, sometimes reaching into entirely new areas, and sometimes gesturing backwards to Matmos’ past recorded output and key influences. 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.
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