Sunday, December 09, 2007

Matmos Bring their Charm to Charm City

Ear Pieces/Matmos @ The Red Room, Baltimore, MD
December 8, 2007

Ear Pieces =
Stewart Mostofsky: electronics
Michael Muniak: electronics

Matmos =
MC Schmidt: electronics, video
Drew Daniel: electronics, video

The concert to welcome the latest Baltimore transplants from California was more of an event than I'd anticipated. With the Red Room packed well beyond capacity I found myself trying to worm my way into my second sold-out show in as many nights. Other than a brief live experience at UCLA as a tribute to Terry Riley, Matmos has not been on my radar and the enthusiastic following spilling out of Normals' Books and Records caught me completely by surprise.

Ear Pieces welcomed the former Bay Area duo with a burst of noise and raw, ad hoc physical energy. It was enough to draw an astute observation from Matmos: "Baltimore may be the one place where we come off as 'normal.'"

And by "normal" it is Matmos' willingness to maintain formal structure and weave in some well crafted grooves that keeps things rooted throughout the extreme video manipulations and content and unusual concrete sonic sources. The theatrics of using roses as drum sticks upon empty instrument cases combined with a charming rapport with the audience pulls the live Matmos experience to a different level.

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