Matt John, Teleparty

[Holographic Island]


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Matt and John are the two of the most common names in America. Matt John really deserves to be a pseudonym; remaking “faceless techno bollocks” for the Google age, there are a billion and a half results when searching for one “Matt John.” Even when you dig deep enough, the most common result is a publicity one-sheet as delirious as Matt John’s compositions. With asides to “holographic thinking,” and “green waves splitting into the petty confetti of yellow and blue,” the overview ends with the nod to Matt John’s potent musical libido — “he will spread holographic music all over.”

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Let’s be honest here: I’ve never heard of any of this stuff before. I’ve also never really heard it in Matt John’s music. But if it can explain a smidgen of what went into a track like last year’s “Soulkaramba,” I’m all ears. “Soulkaramba” is good enough to save a catch-all phrase like “sound collage” by reminding you how peculiar a collage actually is –- disparate objects cut-up and re-framed together should be little gems of future-shock (i.e. fucking weird). If you don’t believe me, try looking at the single’s cover of leather-bound carrots, cowboys and light bulbs. Now imagine for a second how much context is lost in a musical collage and you’ll understand why even normal sounds (like “Soulkaramba”‘s rolling snare) can end up sounding totally bizarre.

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We’ll start with the bad news for Matt John’s new single, “Teleparty”: it’s not nearly as overwhelming as “Soulkaramba.” But somehow that makes the single even more insidious. “Boeing Highflight” (Let Me Hupe Mix) might use delay like a droste effect –- atmospheres spiral recursively into the distance -– but the kick is hard enough to puncture. And whenever you expect the pop of the drums to finally shed Matt John’s “left-field sound,” “Boeing Highflight” always shies away. It’s dumb-founding, sure, but it also shows a way for the dry humor of minimal techno to actually sound playful. Unfortunately, “Cockpit” just sounds gone — it’s concoction is demented enough to never get any traction — and stuck in a traffic jam spiraling out of control. The nuzzling melody and thoroughly tweaked chimes of the title trac end the single well. You can take it for granted that his tracks will never sound normal, but “Teleparty” proves that playing a little conservative might be helpful for Matt John to spread his holographic music all over.

meursault  on September 8, 2008 at 5:41 PM

there is a matt john interview at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facilities online magazine for kids. not joking: http://www.nanooze.org/english/interviews/mattjohn.html

also matt john is big. Olga Dancekowski and The Rising Scope are in heavy yet minimal rotation.

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