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Friday 21 August 2020

Matmos Foresaw The Coming Of COVID By Creating A Collage Station To Produce A Kind Of Safari Into The Visual Unconscious

"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."

Matmos' Drew Daniel is reflecting on the duo's omnivorous approach to making the video for new track No Concept- sculpting contributions from 99 different musicians into a kaleidoscopic piece synchronised at 99bpm, the song translates their new album, 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 recontextualised into surprising new forms.

"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 finalised 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' new album 'The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form' is released on 21st August 2020. CLICK HERE to pre-order. 

by: Mike Cobley


Brighton's music venues are joining forces to programme a series of live gigs to support and protect the city's vibrant music scene.
Credit Mundialphoto

Brighton Fringe's Autumn Season officially launches today, 1st October 2020, with more than fifty events taking place in a COVID-safe way at venues across the city as well as online.

When the Circus of Horrors started in Glastonbury '95 people thought it would run for 25 weeks let alone 25 years, yet here we are a quarter of a century later and the Circus of Horrors is still touring globally.

Brighton-based Carlene Jackson saw the potential of cloud technology early and went on to build a thriving consultancy business with twenty staff. Below she talks about partnering with Microsoft, staff and apprenticeships and how a 'learning difficulty' has made her a better entrepreneur. 

Green councillors joined Brighton residents in Hanover and Elm Grove to create a 'pop-up parklet', a temporary mini-outdoor space with chairs, cushions, a rug, plants and decorations. 

Towner International - Eastbourne's Towner's inaugural contemporary art biennial - hopes to address how artistic communities are recording and responding to the economic, political, cultural, and environmental changes that are unfolding across the world today. 

Two Brighton-born digital companies are celebrating a joint nomination for a national award in recognition of their pioneering support for local loneliness charity, TogetherCo during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Environmental activists placed more than two-hundred pairs of shoes outside Hove Town Hall to symbolise the numbers killed or seriously injured every year in Brighton by air pollution and road traffic accidents.

A community charity campaign, launched last month to support Sussex charities, not-for-profit groups and services that have felt the devastating financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, received an incredible response from the public who nominated local charities and then voted for the winner.

Paloma Faith wrote most of the songs for her forthcoming fifth album, Infinite Things, before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. Then the world went into lockdown, and she ripped them all up and started afresh. 

Death was a subject that had long fascinated Tunng's Sam Genders; a preoccupation not born out of the macabre so much as a curiosity about the fundamental purpose of existence — but also a hesitancy he had noticed around others' grief; a wish to be supportive in the right way, to say the right thing in the face of loss. 

Around one hundred mums, dads, kids and grandparents took part in the colourful family-friendly “bike swarm”, which began at The Level before progressing down the Old Steine, along Madeira Drive, then west to the West Pier.
Credit Magnus Andersen

Rising Icelandic singer-songwriter and one-time Brighton resident, Axel Flóvent, calls Reykjavík home, but also the inspiration behind his upcoming full-length debut, You Stay By The Sea
Credit Pooneh Ghana

Having used the internet as their playground in pioneering ways for the last six months, Glass Animals have decided to reimagine their live show to create a one-time-only virtual gig/experience. 

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