Weirdo Baltimore sound experimentalists Matmos are coming off a spat of collaborations with the likes of So Percussion, Lesser and Wobbly, and Jefferson Friedman to put out their first proper LP since 2008’s Supreme Balloon. Marriage of True Minds is due out sometime in early 2013, but to tide us over until then we get “The Ganzfeld EP” on October 16. In the past, Matmos have focused their compositions on sound sources that were almost sickeningly physical—2001’s A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure was created entirely out of field recordings of surgical procedures, and the track “Tract for Valerie Solanas” from 2006’s The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast featured a cow’s reproductive system being played like a bagpipe with a vacuum cleaner set on reverse. This time, though, Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt are turning their attention to the intangible. The conceit of this record is a bit complicated, so we’ll let Thrill Jockey do the explaining:
“The EP and the album have the same conceptual basis: telepathy. For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became a kind of score that was then used by Matmos to generate music. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act out that out [sic] and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment.”
The track “Very Large Green Triangles (Edit)” is based off of Ed Schrader (known for his Music Beat)’s experience with the experiment. It centers around a short hummed melody, building up toward a chant describing his titular vision.
I would recommend getting a physical copy of this when it drops next year, as the liner notes are going to be necessary to understand what the hell is going on in most of these tracks.