detourn yourself! this shrieks. debord’s like a fucking spectre hanging over me just now. letterists got a fist in my ass working me like a ventriloquists dummy. yup mattins’ back. reductionally, indulging the destructive/restrictive rockist impulses of billy bao with a spewy fervour not seen since… okay not the last billy bao record (urban disease) but certainly may08.
see, unpredictability’s what i dig about mattin. urban disease was so beautifully unlike a billy bao record, defined by silence, lacking words. exquisite corpse is baoist in all but name. unredeconstructed rawk, spittle-flecked and foam-mouthed. lyrics that read like marxist/situationist pamphlets. and all wrapped up in a muss of violent concept.
this is a record as much about rock music as capitalism. putting the exquisite corpse as game aside, taking the words at face value, we’re looking at the bloated airbrushed near-zombie nonfuckerry of rock and roll as an artistic force, we’re looking at the (kinda) free market as ouroboros, devouring it’s own dead flesh. both theories impotent, like leatherface wildly swinging that huge dick chainsaw at thin air; the realisation a way of life’s coming to a(n) (un)climactic end. which makes this record such a goddam joy. fulla wild messy pep. an epinephrine shot to yr head/heart/gut/cock/cunt/feet. all the corporeal zones music should kick you in.
mattin and his savage chinese whisperers hack unsighted at the cadaver of rock and roll, blind men performing an autopsy on pre-post-bust-capitalism. a ten track three year old prescience of the carry-on-as-normal weekend at bernies school of economics. none of this fichtean dialectic and oppositional psychopathology would matter a tinker’s cuss if it wasn’t glued to to such (im)perfect, uncut (in every sense of the word) bash and clatter, if it was done with a fair bit of dry, dry panache. can’t help but like a fella who follows up the line ‘revolution through language’ with ‘i never wrote slogan songs’…
it started, in proper contrarian style, with mattin’s lyrics and voice. followed by kevin failure’s guitar and piano. then margarida garcia’s bass. and finally loy fankbonner’s drums. all recorded independently, without hearing the other’s part, with nothing to go on but words. the rules: one take, three minutes per track. no way back, said the man himself. fuck technique, fuck metre, fuck progression, fuck structure. it is what it is in this moment.
and the results? a wild, vicious thrash. songs, forever staggering at the edge, teetering on the cusp, threatening to fall spectacularly apart but somehow never succumbing to the ugly pull of gravity. vox that veer from croon to snarl to jabber. beats like hardcore that doesn’t quite know what to do with itself then suddenly remembers. fella on guitar pulling brutish gobs of skree and punctuation marks of semi-refined piano klang from the aether. buckshots of bass, aiming at nothing and hitting everything.
prefix avant-something / post-whatever all you like. it’s against itself. and at it’s core it does what rock music should do, but rarely does: refuse/resist.
Disque enregistrÃ© en 2009 Ã NYC par Dougie Bowne et Yvan Julian. Disque concept crachÃ© dans l'histoire du rock n'roll, glaviot sonique initiÃ© par MATTIN, rock'n roll killing my life, oui plus surement que le Prozac. 4 pistes enregistrÃ©es en aveugle avec Loy Fankbonner aux drums, Margarita Garcia Ã la basse, Kevin Failure Ã la guitare et Mattin : voix d'Ã©corchÃ©. Chacun d'entre eux jouant en devers soi, sourd aux autres, amnÃ©siques. Chacun des participants Ã ce disque a enregistrÃ© sans savoir ce que les autres faisaient dans leur coin de studio. Chacun n'avait pour consigne qu'un timing a respecter, pour le reste une libertÃ© absolue de jeu et sa propre histoire avec lui. MATTIN remixerait le tout ensemble de faÃ§on brutale, 4 pistes superposÃ©es sans Ã©coutes prÃ©alables, assemblÃ©es de faÃ§on anarchique, cadavre exquis se dÃ©couvrant Ã l'Ã©coute du final mix. Toute l'histoire du rock est un cadavre exquis qui se refuse Ã disparaÃ®tre, MATTIN l'a bien compris et le revendique, exhibe son cadavre chantant et danse Ã pieds joints dessus. Les morts vont vite. Comment faire, comment taire ce qui nous prÃ©cÃ¨de, nous hante, nous influence ? Comment faire pour donner un coup de pied dans ce qui nous oppresse au nom de la culture, l'autre nom de notre aliÃ©nation au Capital. DÃ©construire ? Les groupes industriels l'ont tentÃ©, en vain. No escape, clamait dÃ©jÃ le combo acide The Seeds. Suicide l'avait entendu, Alan Vega se crucifiant sur scÃ¨ne, le King Ã©tait mort nÃ©. White House plongeait un public d'addicts dans un bain de bruits blancs, cela n'a pas suffit, le rock se refusait Ã crever, malgrÃ© l'annonce faite Ã un public stupÃ©fait de sa mort prochaine. Le fil est lÃ , trainant au sol dans la poussiÃ¨re des discothÃ¨ques savantes ou populaires, fil auquel se renouer, en prolonger le dessin, en injectant de l'Ã©lectricitÃ©. Ce disque Ã©voque autant la No Wave et ses Blue Human que les Sex Pistols et leur grande escroquerie, l'Ã©nergie des Stooges que le poison sonore du Velvet Undergound, le Joseph Holbroke de Derek Bailey que Harry Pussy. Un foutu boucan, metal machine music jouÃ©e free, fracturÃ©e, disloquÃ©e, prÃ©cipitÃ©e dans le vide sidÃ©ral de la post-modernitÃ©. Ca pose la question du Nouveau de maniÃ¨re radicale, et montre finalement que personne n'Ã©chappe Ã la culture dans laquelle nous baignons. C'est une Å“uvre nihiliste parce qu'elle dÃ©montre que mÃªme free dans notre jeu, nos doigts ont une mÃ©moire, que mÃªme le hasard reproduit l'Histoire de la musique dÃ©jÃ enregistrÃ©e. Tous les projets de MATTIN tente de se poser comme projet politique, de remettre en question nos pratiques culturelles, musicales, leur spectacle et ses droits d'auteur. Coup de pied foutu dans les petits commerces de l'underground, juste voir ce qui se passe aprÃ¨s. Souvent rien. MATTIN hurle des slogans anti-capitaliste, rÃ©cite des mantras punk analysant les moyens de production d'un disque de rock n'roll, notre aliÃ©nation Ã la marchandise culturelle (celle qui recouvre toutes les autres). Pas de love songs, ni d'appels aux Ã©meutes. Sorte de syllogisme dÃ©montrant que toutes les musiques ne sont que le reflet du pouvoir et que les musiques free et underground peut-Ãªtre plus encore que toutes autres, parce qu'elles se fondent sur une illusion de libertÃ©. MATTIN clame Â« Music must be destroy ! Right here ! Right Now ! Â». Certes en son temps Guy Debord dÃ©nonÃ§ait dÃ©jÃ la culture comme l'alliÃ©e objective du pouvoir, mais pourquoi vouloir saccager ce qui nous libÃ¨re autant que ce qui nous oppresse ? Le rock est ambivalent, il reste une sous-culture autant qu'un vivier pour alimenter en spectacles les musÃ©es. La vision de MATTIN est foutrement nihiliste. Mais la musique reste ici radicalement jouissive. Paradoxe ?
The Basque agit-prop malcontent Mattin
is another extreme noisester and like Rupenus refuses to give up,
stating and restating his strident messages. Some of his
anti-capitalist polemic has found its way onto the lyrics of Exquisite
OZKDS 017, AZUL
DISCOGRAFICA AZD08, W.M.O./r 40), which is almost an album
of sloganeering rock songs; one favourite snippet of wordage poses
the conundrum “Attali advises Sarkozy / noise politics?” But the
politics are only a small part of this unusual record. The main
point of interest is the extremely spontaneous methodology used to
create the record, which relied heavily on single-takes,
sight-unseen readings of lyrics, a recording engineer who couldn’t
wait to start the tape rolling, and a very laissez-faire
mixing-editing technique. Mattin instigated these events, bringing
in the talents of drummer Loy Fankbonner, bassist Margarida
Garcia, and guitarist / pianist Kevin Failure. Keen to elicit an
almost “absolute” degree of spontaneity, Mattin did not prescribe
what instruments they should play nor how they should perform 3, and only supplied minimal
information regarding the song content. They players were not
allowed to hear each other, or the lyrics, in their headphones,
and when all was finished (it was recorded in a single night)
Mattin just threw the takes together on his computer with scant
regard for “matching” tracks, a smooth production, or indeed
creating a coherent musical statement of any sort. Through this
process, he says, he expects the “exquisite corpse to vomit the
new wine”. But he also regards improvisation as demanding a heavy
commitment, and is clearly attracted to the idea that there is “no
way back” once the statement is made. In that light, this record
represents a somewhat more drastic enactment of that technique,
where the stakes are very high and no quarter is given for
self-congratulation, retakes, rehearsals, overdubs, or any of that
namby-pamby stuff that other musicians do in the studio. I know
that Frank Zappa occasionally made recordings where he would match
up unrelated solos and other instrumental parts (he, or somebody,
called it “xenochrony”), but Zappa was still pursuing some form of
aesthetic beauty, which Mattin quite clearly is not. Rather, I
suspect Mattin intends to lay bare the very process of making
records in the same way he likes to expose mechanisms of thought
and the inner workings of political practice in all areas of the
great human machine. You could also regard this LP as adhering to
the punk rock or post-punk ideals of one-take honesty and
spontaneity, but that’s probably way off the mark too. I’d imagine
that many punk bands did their songs in one take for economic
reasons – they couldn’t afford to purchase any more studio time.
At any rate, Mattin’s bold experiment catches fire in places on
this record, which is chaotic, obnoxious, broken, disjunctive and
verging on the unlistenable – but it is also fiery and
spontaneous, a living thing of raw pulsating energies, and teeming
with a life which has emphatically not been deadened or diluted in
the studio process. I suppose we can all learn something from
that. However, Mattin chose his collaborators wisely; I suspect
there aren’t many musicians who’d be prepared to go along with an
experiment as radical as this, and some might even regard it as a
rather forced freedom, like being told you can do
whatever you like at the point of a gun. The entire exercise is
interleaved with fine art references; the “exquisite corpse”
itself came from the Surrealists, and there’s a situationist
slogan “Detourn Yourself!” scrawled on the cover, which is also
littered with typewritten and scrawled texts from the lyrics,
mixed up and tilted every which way, as if attempting to rekindle
the power of a Futurist Words-in-Freedom page or the front cover
of any given Dadaist journal. From 7th November 2011.
3 “I hate other people telling me what to play,” he snarls on the back cover.
El último trabajo de Mattin es un ejercicio de creación colectivo. De hecho, el título del disco hace referencia al Cadáver Exquisito técnica utilizada por los surrealistas para la creación de un texto o imagen colectiva, con un peculiaridad, que los participantes sólo pueden ver la aportación del autor que participó anteriormente a él. Esto es, el participante no podrá ver la aportación del resto hasta el final de la obra. El resultado es un collage irracional. Los dadaístas fueron los precursores de este tipo de acciones, entre otros, Raoul Hausmann inventor del fotomontaje. Más tarde, el escritor beat William S. Burroughs y el artista Bryon Gysin lo trasladaron al ámbito del sonido y lo bautizaron como cut-up. O lo que es lo mismo, el corta/pega del que tanto se abusa y subestima hoy en día. Con el objetivo de evitar el proceso clásico de grabación de un disco rock, el terrorista sonoro vizcaíno entregó las letras de estos temas a tres músicos dos días antes de entrar en el estudio. Así, esas letras (puñaladas afiladas dirigidas al sistema capitalista actual) fueron la única guía que tuvieron los músicos Loy Fankbonner (bateria), Margarida Garcia bajo), y Kevin Failure (guitarra y piano, Pink Reason), ya que grabaron todas las canciones sin verse ni escucharse entre sí, en la primera toma. Mattin ya me advirtió vía mail que era un disco difícil, pero el resultado me ha dejado perplejo. Es un trabajo espontaneo, intuitivo y primitivo, y bastante más audible de lo que me esperaba. Aquí no hay rastro del noise-rock de Billy Bao, -el otro proyecto de Mattin-, ni tampoco se detectan rastros de los riffs repetitivos e interminables de sus queridos Brainbombs; aquí lo que impera es la improvisación, los ambientes de calma áspera, los arrebatos impetuosos y la desesperada voz de Mattin. Es un experimento espontáneo realizado con osadía infantil. La clave es lo que surge en el momento, eternizar el instante. Prueba de ellos The Most Abject Form Of Authorship un corte arrebatador, donde texturas ruidosas se unen con un piano roto, entre gritos desgarradores. Grabado en Nueva York en 2009, se han editado 450 LPs. Este fiambre está muy vivo.
As it turns out, the record’s concept could have easily undermined the entire project. Mattin (the artist) explains that the lyrics were given to the players a couple of days before recording, and none of the players recorded (or even saw each other) at the same time. Everything was layered on top of the previous session until the album was done.
At times, the songs resemble Dead Kennedys stoned out of their minds, lost basement demos for Jane from Occupied Europe, or a wasted cover band doing their best to reinterpret No New York rather than the Misfits for the umpteenth time. In the end, it’s a consuming squall of surrealism and noise.
Just so you know, I saw a review online that called this “one of
the most unlistenable records ever.” Here’s the deal: Anarchist
punk improvising artist noisemaker Mattin (Basque by birth but now
a troublemaking citizen of the whole damned world) wrote a batch
of extreme, socially conscious, the-world-is-fucked lyrics and
recorded them in his jabbering nonsense of a voice. Then he
enlisted three musicians (guitar/piano, bass, and drums) to come
up with backing music, giving them exactly three minutes per song
to do whatever they wanted and only one take to get each song
right. And oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that none of the
players ever heard the others or even the vocals; they had the
lyrics for inspiration and that’s all. They had no idea what the
vocals sounded like or how the other musicians were dealing with
key, tempo, or style. Not that it mattered. Mattin piled the parts
one on top of another and called it a mix. Boom, done. It sounds
pretty much like you would expect it to, all loud chaos and
sharp-edged randomness, making absolutely no sense. I enjoyed this
record in spite of it being completely unlistenable.
Reviewed by Max Level on January 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm
The album is a new conceptual work from Mattin named Exquisite Corpse. The music was created using a method similar to the traditional game of the same name in which a group of people individually draw different parts of a drawing, often a person, without being able to see the contributions of the other members of the group. For this album, which is jointly released on Mattin’s w.m.o/r label and the Azul Discografica label, Mattin wrote the lyrics to ten songs, which he then sent out to the three other members of the group he has formed for this project- Loy Fankbonner, (drums) Margarida Garcia (electric bass) and Kevin Failure (guitar and piano). Each group member only received the lyrics a couple of days in advance of recording their individual parts, which they did separately and without any contact with one another. All they were sent were the lyrics, and the instruction that each of the ten songs should only last three minutes. The three instrumental parts were then superimposed by Mattin without any editing later, with an additional fourth track, his vocals, added on top, again recorded without having heard anything his collaborators had produced. The lyrics then were meant to provide some kind of, (in Mattin’s words) graphic score for the project, the only element the musicians could use to try and guess at how the music might sound.
This kind of exquisite corpse game is not unusual in improvised or experimental music. recently of course, MIMEO’s sight album was created in a vaguely similar way, and many other examples can be found in recent history. Perhaps the one thing that sets this album off from those other works might be its attempt to create a somewhat mainstream form of music with rhythm, melody and sung words rather than anything as abstract as the sight project produced. the end result then, as perhaps we might expect, is a somewhat disjointed garage-punk styled mess of a record, bass and drums never connecting, grainy insistent guitars thrashing about, and Mattin’s half spoken, half shouted, never really sung lyrics scrawled all over the top. There are some moments that almost work, some happy accidents where two musicians might change course suddenly int he same place, or parts where all of the group might decide to play quieter, or more slowly, and one might wonder how much of this is the result of the musicians interpreting the lyrics in similar ways and how much might just be happy accident. Any enjoyment taken from the album then came for me from the curiosity of what such a project might throw up. On the whole though, it sounds like rough outtakes from a dodgy mid-Eighties Velvet Underground tribute band’s practice sessions. Not a pretty thought then, though I am also quite aware of how that description could actually please Mattin!
My problem with this project is not so much that it produced something that isn’t so inspiring to listen to, but rather that its a bit of an old, boring idea. In his liner notes Mattin mentions that because the musicians were only allowed one take to respond to lyrics they had not had much time with, they came close to the spirit of improvisation. I’m not so sure that this was really the case, given that they each have tried at least to make sounds that might work together to form a set of rock songs, albeit of the somewhat obscure avant-punk variety. Beyond the intriguing way that the different musicians interpreted each track, and beyond the novelty element that any project of this type might engender though, this seems a bit of a lightweight, throwaway project for Mattin. It comes across as part interesting, if unoriginal concept, and part homage to the rock and roll studio experience. Unlike other Mattin works of recent years though, its ugliness as a piece of music is not really compensated for by an interesting conceptual idea. Nothing here leaves me thinking long after the needle has come to rest in the last groove, and the end result is somewhat predictable. It all ends up being a bit of a throwaway project then, of the kind I really don’t expect from Mattin. No big criticisms, just not something that left much of an impression.Tagged: Composition, Conceptual, Improvisation, Who knows?
Prolific Basque provocateur Mattin has mde a micro-career out of valuing ideas more than musicality, and there's often much to be said for this sort of upturning of the apple cart of trad sonic concerns. His latest anti-album album, Exquisite Corpse, is another predictably unpredictable sandbox experiment.
Anyone who's ever taken a long childhood road trip with siblings has probably played Exquisite Corpse, where you take turns completing portions of a drawing without being allowed to see the previous section. At the end, the paper is unfolded and the clash of arbitrary shapes and styles provides a moment of amusement for the participants. When applied to the audio realm – with each musicians recording their part in isolation, excluded from being in the same recording space with the others – the results are similarly chaotic and nonsensical.
Mattin's vocals ramble and rant in their own odd vacuum. The guitar (played by Kevin Failure aka Pink Reason) tries to pre-empt Mattin's polemical lyrics with distortion-shredded No Wave atonality. Where it occasionally succeeds, the rhythm section suffers as consequence. The bass stagnates in sustained, low-end drones, which only further muddles up the already deconstructed group logic. The drummer fares only slightly better, weaving back and forth between crashing art-punk bursts and 'let's wait and see what Mattin does next' cymbal skitter.
Given how restrictive the premise was, it seemed unnecessary (if not masochistic) to further complicated the proceedings by allowing each musicians only a single take per song, and capping the duration of each track at exactly three minutes. One assumes Mattin finds a perverse pleasure or freedom in the bondage-like restrictions of such a set-up, and while art in all its forms has often benefited from healthy does of perversion to keep it alive, Exquisite Corpse feels as closed off and contrived in its own way as a tedious blog-reared indie rock group.
There is a Dostoevsky quote that reads, “ Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel.” After years of excessive overuse, Mattin's permanent middle finger has come to feel as rote and flat as a lazy peace sign thrown up by a tired hippy. Britt Brown
by zhu wenbo (organizer of Zoomin' Night events in Beijing, September 2015)
Mattin 的专辑 Exquisite Corpse （精致的尸体），据说是他的作曲作品（composition），不过封面看上去不是那么回事。封面给人的第一印象和音乐的质感倒是蛮接近：混乱的吉他贝司鼓，一股浓浓的No Wave 风。No Wave 也算作曲？
Mattin 人本分，他在唱片的封底介绍了这张黑胶唱片的制作方式，这里容我复述一遍。他把他的十首诗，发给三个乐手（Margarida Garcia - 贝司手，Loy Fankbonner - 鼓手，Kevin Failure - 吉他，钢琴），两天之后，他请他们根据诗的第一印象进行演奏并录音。每人每首歌只有一次录音机会，乐手之间事先没有知会，录音时也听不到对方。说白了，其实录的基于诗歌的独奏。Mattin 自己录制了人声演唱，因此这张专辑最终的呈现是四独奏（而非四重奏）。
最后，说说这些歌曲，它们有节奏，有低频，有噪音，有人味儿，当然了，就是没有配合可言。由于语言的隔阂，我不知道Mattin唱的是什么 —— 诗倒是印在了封面上，不过貌似他没有唱的完全一致 —— 只知道他唱的很赖很用力，像每一个热爱实验摇滚的小镇高中生。