The more things change

Matmos and So Percussion, Remis Auditorium, October 12, 2006
By WILL SPITZ  |  December 18, 2006

At the MFA’s Remis Auditorium last night, Matmos’ M. C. Schmidt explained that after doing the same show 32 times in a row, he and his mate Drew Daniel had to change things up per concert programmer Dan Hirsch’s request that they do a different set from the one they played at Remis back in January. As excellent as that show was — a multimedia extravaganza combining bizarre, amusing video art with the heady, dancy electro-organic “sound portraits” from the then-forthcoming The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast (Matador) — I didn’t think I would've wanted to pay to see the same thing twice.

Unfortunately, however, perhaps because of the change-it-up request, last night’s performance suffered from an uncharacteristically slapdash feeling. Partway through a hilarious video piece of a bare female ass being erotically spanked and grabbed, Schmidt’s DVD player konked out. (He later apologized and offered to mail a copy of the DVD to anyone who sends him a self-addressed stamped envelope.) The finale — a meandering improv sesh between Matmos and our own Keith Fullerton Whitman, which culminated with Schmidt somehow using dry ice to elicit ear-splitting tones from a pair metal rods — came off uninspired, a disappointing end to a disappointing show.

That’s not to say it didn’t have its moments. The two or three songs (it was hard to tell where one ended and another began) performed with openers So Percussion, who just about stole the night with their rendition of Steve Reich’s wild bongo riot Drumming Part I, were by turns gorgeous and raucous: warm waves of electronic sound meshed with oddly pretty xylophone and piano melodies which gave way to shards of computer noise and percussion thunder. When all was said and done, I would’ve rather seen a reprise of the January show.

Related: Dynamos, Group dynamics, Second sight, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Keith Fullerton Whitman, Drew Daniel, Steve Reich,  More more >
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