Matmos bring another round electronica to MFA

By Jonathon Dube

Matmos, an electronica duo from San Francisco, Cal., returned to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Thursday night to showcase their music for the second time this year.

The band, comprised of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, collaborated with Bjork on her 2001 album “Vespertine.” According to their website, Matmos used the sounds of “amplified crazy nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, a bowed five string banjo, slowed down whistles and kisses,” among others, in their recordings. They were joined by So Percussion and Keith Fullerton Whitman.

“In January, Matmos performed quite a bit of material from their latest album … But there will also be some new, as yet unreleased material, said MFA Media Coordinator Stephanie Lubkowski before the show. “Dry ice will also be involved.”

During one of their last songs they created warbling, theremin-esque noises by plying dry ice covered in San Pelligreno with long metal rods.

Soley Mason, a fourth-year pharmacy major, said she was introduced to Matmos through their 2001 release “A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure.”

“I stole a CD from an ex-boyfriend’s car and I enjoyed it – the plastic surgery one,” she said.

Melissa Allen, a senior international affairs major, said she became familiar with Matmos through the band’s 2003 release.

“I picked ‘The Civil War’ up off the coffee table and I put it in my computer because I needed something new. I loved it,” she said.

So Percussion’s set kicked off the night’s performances with a set filled with songs clocking in at more than several minutes long. One piece was a lively drum number played by all four members on eight bongos.

Matmos came on after an uninspired drum machine knob-twiddle by Keith F. Whitman. Schmidt was dressed in a tweed suit and thick black glasses, while Daniel wore a garish sweater adorned with a glitter-encrusted lion. Their first song was light-hearted, combining a grand piano with electronic noises, which culminated into a chaotic but undeniably powerful effect when So Percussion came on and joined the set.

The duo then taped an electric razor to a microphone and shaved an audience member’s hair into a mohawk while a video of a man burning himself with a cigarette – and the healing process afterwards – played in the background.

Schmidt promised to send DVDs of the song to all audience members that contacted him to make up for the slip-up.

Masom said she would definitely see the band again if they made a return to the MFA.

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