ALBUM REVIEW: Matmos – Return To Archive | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Smithsonian Folkways

Released: 03.11.23






For much of their 30-year career, Matmos have been setting themselves limitations. Albums have been recorded using sounds sourced from plastic surgery, a washing machine, even their own parapsychological experiments. The results are always witty, inspired, impressive and ridiculous. But what’s less certain is how often you’d revisit them.

This latest project sees them given access to the non-musical sound catalogue of the Smithsonian – a huge source of absurdly varied material – and as ever, while an initial listen is great, there are only a handful of tracks I’d return to. The glitchy twang of Injection Basic Sound is a real ear-worm, ditto Why?, but as entertaining as this album is as a collision of Dadaist collages and demented soundscapes, I don’t see it getting frequent turntable time.


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