– General Description: This album is just a pure delight. Matmos (comprised of the Baltimore-based electronic duo M.C. and Drew Daniel) creates the music on this album using plastic objects, including: poker chips, PVC pan flute, plastic ocarina, Bakelite dominos, Styrofoam coolers, polyethylene waste containers, PVC panpipes, pinpricks of bubble wrap, police riot shields, silicone gel breast implants and synthetic human fat.
It is not all contrived editing. The plastic horns and plastic drums are played by human beings and that freshness definitely shows in the mix.
Wonderful is that youthful participants were recruited from the horn and drumline sections of the Whitefish High School Bulldogs (Whitefish, Montana); they also played objects sourced from a nearby recycling center, including massive plastic garbage bins. This was later combined with additional plastic percussion performances by Greg Saunier (drummer and founding member of the band Deerhoof).
This sort of collaboration makes for the best kind of energy in sound exploration and Matmos has brilliantly combined the results. Play this often, enjoy, but also think about (and hear in some of the tracks) the darker implications of all this plastic around us.
1. ***(2:27) Breaking Bread - fun and goofy; plucked and twanged fragments of broken vinyl records of 1970’s soft rock group Bread
2. (4:25) The Crying Pill - ethereal and squeaky; sounds like a grade school counting exercise
3. (4:12) Interior With Billiard Balls and Synthetic Fat - like listening to a pool game for first minute, then bounces around from musical to pure percussion
4. (0:11) Extending The Plastisphere To GJ237b - fast little interstitial
5. ***(4:32) Silicone Gel Implant - nice; island beat and feel
6. ***(4:07) Plastic Anniversary - very interesting regal fanfare using all sorts of objects plus trumpet and trombone
7. ***(4:06) Thermoplastic Riot Shield - creepy in a good way; sounds of a police riot shield being stroked, rubbed and struck
8. (4:01) Fanfare For Polyethylene Waste Containers - rhythmic texture over and under horn block chords
9. (2:59) The Singing Tube - a ten foot long PVC pipe played entirely with plastic toilet brushes; good beat draws you in for exercising
10. ****(5:03) Collapse Of The Fourth Kingdom - African beat and feel; wonderful and inspiring; whistles, noisemakers and plastic-gloved handclaps, processed plastic horns
11. (4:21) Plastisphere - dystopian sound of plastic floating in the ocean; constructed out of samples of bubble wrap, Velcro, plastic bags/straws, and an emergency stretcher