MYSTERY SEA 53| Matt
Shoemaker | [The Sunken Plethora Consumes All]
four tracks explore the idea of comparative immensity. They're not as
much literal depictions (despite the field recordings on the 1st track),
but impressions, moods, metaphors, etc. arranged for subjectivity and
balance. I believe that at the end of the day, whether we want to be
there or not, we all end up in the depths; it's a natural course that's
indifferent to our most tenacious attempts at stability. Considering
the phenomena is a beautiful thing."
Matt Shoemaker , May 2009
artist Matt Shoemaker has surely a voice of his own
in the experimental music scene...
Blending natural sounds (field recordings) with others sourced from
various electronic apparatus (both analog & digital) or acoustic
instruments, Matt drags out new sense from this friction...
Barely relying on models generated by his predecessors or current peers,
he has chosen instinctive introspection & autarkic audio-scripts
pushing forward their own world of rich abstraction...
Most of all, his sonic refined amalgams recontextualize and question
the perceptual approach of our surroundings, processing by subdued psychogeographic
strokes & allusions...
After acclaimed works for Trente Oiseaux, Helen Scarsdale Agency, Oblast,
& Ferns, commissioned works for radio, art galleries, and various
pieces for compilations, he shaped another aural wonder for MS...
Swayed by Nature's babbles,
a spectrum of infinite variations,
we seem abruptedly to feel for real,
beaming with primal energy,
intensely rooted in the Now...
Then, collapsing within, levels below,
searching for new foundations & emergences,
all motion interiorized,
we yield hidden recesses...
From the humming of a fly to the roaring of metal,
the shortcut is gripping, a sea of contrasts...
like finding an impossible island...
"The Sunken Plethora Consumes All" is a quest
through gaining more focus... a personal exegesis...
02. the apneist
03. hallucination pool
04. the sunken plethora consumes all
VITAL WEEKLY 684|Frans
Following last week's release on The
Helen Scarsdale Agency, here is another release by Matt Shoemaker.
Again its a work of analogue electronics and field recordings. And also
again like last week, there is one piece which seems to be dealing with
'just' environmental sounds, water of course (this is Mystery Sea after
all), in 'Hovering'. The other three pieces might rely on field recordings
but they are well hidden in the electronic treatments given to the material
by Shoemaker. Highly organic once again, highly atmospheric,
once again. Perhaps it costs me more trouble to enjoy this following
the 'Erosion Of The Analogous Eye' from last week. Maybe its the similarity
in approach that makes two of these discs in one week from the same
person a bit much. I do think that 'The Sunken Plethora Consumes
All' is a great work. There is no doubt there, or perhaps even
better (the somewhat shorter pieces make a bit more coherent compositions),
but in this vast crowded field this is maybe a bit much. One to put
aside for a while, and then return to it. The work is worth it.
The gentle nature sound opening to
this release from American composer Shoemaker belies
the turmoil of sound that soon unfolds from the speakers. A brutal
watery cascade that eventually settles into the hesitant clank and drone
of the second track, The Apneist. Here his field recordings have
taken on a very different feel to those of the opener as they clatter,
hiss and drone away below sheets of metallic sound. The purring
trepidation that opens track 3, ‘Hallucination Pool’,
soon evolves with a slow fanfare of vivid and cinematic tones before
receding so as to allow the slow build gong and drone of the albums
closing title track.
Shoemaker’s is a name I’ve been aware of
for a little while now but this is my first opportunity to hear his
music and it doesn’t disappoint. He makes music that is
both introspective and demonstrative in equal measures which I foresee
could become quite an addictive prospect.
wonderful wooden reasons
I smiled when reading these words describing
Shoemaker’s sound art within the promo’s sleeve:
“barely relying on models generated by his predecessors or current
peers”. That’s absolutely fallacious: there’s a lot
of things here that one could associate to other people and records
of this area. Organum, Irr. App. (Ext.), Jim Haynes to name just three,
and – get this – even Popol Vuh-like phantoms somewhere.
What’s true instead is that this man reveals himself to be an
artist who can organize sonic sources quite smartly, the result being
a record that offers enigmas and symphonic concreteness in equal doses.
Starting from the natural field recordings – very beautiful ones,
admittedly – of the initial “Hovering” the composer
leads us through a thick undergrowth of drone and resonant clangor without
falling in the canons of shameful imitation, always setting the listener
in a frame of mind between perplexed and spellbound (this reviewer fell
asleep during the first headphone try). The development of “The
Apneist” transits across stunning static mirages blemished by
metropolitan traces (and perhaps the moans of a didgeridoo, but –
again – it’s all very well done). By the time we have arrived
at the final stages with “Hallucination Pool” – possibly
the most dramatic piece - and the title track (the sinisterly moribund
tolling at the beginning of the latter is exactly the thing that was
needed) the music has gradually become an established component in the
neighboring environment while managing to nourish an invisible inside
quaking in a much more effectual way than what was imagined at the outset.