MYSTERY SEA 53| Matt Shoemaker | [The Sunken Plethora Consumes All]


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"These 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


US sound 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 for identity
through gaining more focus... a personal exegesis...


01. hovering 
02. the apneist
03. hallucination pool 
04. the sunken plethora consumes all




VITAL WEEKLY 684|Frans De Waard    
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.
vital weekly

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

TEMPORARY FAULT |Massimo Ricci  
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.
temporary fault