The San Fran producer continues to rattle cages.
Matrixxman made his name as one half of 5kinandbone5, a West Coast duo whose music ranged from 2-step and r&b hybrids to rattling rap beats (most notably on the backing to Le1f’s Wut.) Despite the success the group found in a short space of time, they dissolved in 2013 and Matrixxman has been rattling out records since – appearing on labels like Dekmantel, Spectral Sound, Unknown to the Unknown and Delft, though this summer he settled on Ghostly International to release his debut album Homesick.
Although Homesick is a techno record at its heart (albiet one that draws heavily from industrial and electro), it also marks Matrixxman’s attempt to push against the genre’s boundaries – or explore its possibilities, depending on your perspective. “The whole reason I’m doing an artistic pursuit is so I can do what the fuck I want to do,” he told FACT earlier this year. “I’m hellbent on eschewing expectation where possible. My whole approach is distinctly subversive at its core. Too many people get comfortable in their safe zones. And while I’m getting comfortable settling into the confines of techno, I’m still trying to fuck it up as much as possible.”
His FACT mix nods to the techno gods at times (Plastikman, Hood) but generally keeps things weird and obscure, cribbing gems from Johannes Hell, Ground Loop, Adbdulla Rashim and more. Homesick is out now through Ghostly International.
Following his debut LP Homesick on Ghostly International, LittleBig are pleased to welcome techno futurist Matrixxman to our roster. With new material forthcoming on a highly respected label next year, contact email@example.com for 2016 availability now.
The Ghostly International Record label have announce the new ADULT. album ‘The Way Things Fall’ will be released on May 14th 2013.
“A good friend of ours said after hearing an advance copy of this record that ADULT. used to sit on the sidelines and critique the idiosyncrasies of culture, but now we are on the inside, sending our message out.” So says Adam Lee Miller of The Way Things Fall, ADULT.’s fifth album and a record that genuinely deserves the oft-abused music industry epithet “long-awaited.” Miller pauses before adding wryly, “We agree.”
The Way Things Fall is an album that looked like it might never happen, because since the release of Miller and his partner Nicola Kuperus’ last record — 2007’s Why Bother? — the duo have been largely absent from the world of music. “After a long world tour, we totally burnt out,” Miller relates. “We decided we wanted to do something completely different.” That something was a trilogy of films entitled the Three Grace(s) triptych, completed in 2010, along with a variety of other pursuits, including managing a major commercial building renovation and working on their visual art projects.
When Miller and Kuperus re-entered the studio in 2012, there was no intention of making another album — they planned to record a 12″ containing two new songs they’d written in 2012 for their return to live performance at the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art. But it turned out that the time away from music had recharged ADULT.’s batteries, and then some. “We were apparently a dam that was ready to break,” says Kuperus. “We were writing frantically, as if in a frenzy.”
The result is a record that sounds both focused and coherent, flowing with a conceptual ease. “[The album] flowed efficiently and agreeably for us,” says Miller. “We have never worked better together. We believe this is because we exorcised all of our demons through our past records, we have no baggage, we started anew. We left behind the self-conscious adolescents.” And indeed, ADULT. have never sounded so self-assured, so poised, and so vital.
The songs are some of the most memorable the band have recorded — Miller describes them as “the closest we have to come to writing traditional ‘pop’ songs, even though we know they are totally mutants,” and he’s right on both fronts. From the whiplash synth lines of the opening “Heartbreak” to the ship’s bell sample that closes the record, the songs are full of the sort of memorably twisted melodies we’ve come to expect from the band. Analogue sounds predominate, and notably, there’s no bass guitar at all: “This wasn’t a conscious decision, but something realized at the end of the process.”
The lyrics address issues that Kuperus describes as “personal and universal,” illustrating themes of relationship-related fear and doubt with striking and occasionally surrealist imagery — “Nothing Lasts” finds Kuperus claiming “I can see in to your mouth/ Down into your throat/ Straight to your heart/ Tears me apart,” while the somber “A Day Like Forever” deploys images of time stretching and disappearing, and “Tonight, We Fall” describes feelings as tangible objects that “stick to you, stick to me.” The contrast between the reflective lyricism and the squelching analogue synth textures they inhabit creates music that’s both deeply heartfelt and viscerally thrilling, something that’s been a constant feature of ADULT.’s work over the years.