CNVR10 | 12.07.2006
KNEALE / MATTIN
format: CDR | packaging: discbox slider
duration: 37 minutes, 7 tracks
limited to 65+50 numbered copies
Mattin is pretty much the uber-collaborator of the sound scene right now and Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel) is his Southern Hemisphere equivalent. So it's inevitable they would put their heads together an come up with a dose of aural virtual reality like Kneale / Mattin. I rate them both ini the highest terms individually and together. This disc spun me one-better than dentistry. Conv deserves to be congratulated for this. Hear it.
liner notes by Bruce Russell
On the face of it a collaboration between Basque laptopper Mattin and New Zealand dronemeister Campbell Kneale of Birchville Cat Motel seems like an odd idea. Mattin works the outer limits- it's either ultra-minimal or all out noise attack, delicate wisps and puffs or feedback apocalypse- whereas Kneale favours fullness of texture and tends to avoid extremes of pace and dynamics.
Kneale put these seven tracks together from sounds sent by Mattin with a conceptual rigour of which the latter would surely have approved. Thought he was given two and a half hours of Mattin's solo electric guitar, Kneale ignored the guitar parts altogether to use the sounds before Mattin started playing and after he stopped, combining them with similar 'no playing' extracts selected from his own work.
The focus, then, is on preparing to play, or reflecting on playing after teh fact. Indeed, there is little evidence of any playing at all- the occasional appearance of backwards sound files is a neat metaphor to rub itself out. Like Rauschenberg's famous /Erased De Kooning Drawing/, it's all about what's left behind: a rich texture of indentations, imperfections and smudges, in keeping with the aesthetics of both artists.
[ Dan Warburton ]
Mattin is certainly known for a more abrasive sound style with deep processing and wonderful field / location recordings. This collaboration with Kneale, however, sees a slightly more gentle side coming through. There are still moments of harshness, admittedly, but overall the sound is a softer, experimental tone with layers of texture and some very beautiful drone parts. The tracks work well together and seem to form a natural flow that weaves between the different styles. Overall it's a very engaging work full of clarity and space and comes recommended, as do most of the con-v releases.
[ Mike Oliver ]
Was it only last week when we wrote: "Mattin. Where doesn't this man go?" That was slightly incomplete, as we should have said also "and with whom didn't he play there?". Here he teams up with Campbell Kneale from New Zealand, who is otherwise known as Birchville Cat Motel. It wasn't a recent meeting, since it was already recorded in 2003. In these seven pieces the two show their love of drone music, and to a lesser extent also their love of noise. It's hard to tell what they do right here (liner by Bruce Russell are missing with my copy), but perhaps it seems to be a fine combination of amplified objects with contact microphones and (for the bigger part), both processed and unprocessed field recordings. For Mattin is moves away from both his love of the super loud (old work) and quite soft (recent work), and seems to be more alike the Birchville Cat Motel work. The humming of radiators and motors form the backbone of the pieces, and miniature sounds on top, sometimes shooting high in the sky through sound effects. Sometimes a piece is a bit too simple in its execution, but throughout it's a fine disc.
[ Frans de Waard ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015