Next month, Matmos release Supreme Balloon, a collection of “cosmic pop” tracks, including a 24-minute epic, made entirely from synthesizers. Drew Daniel, one half of the Maryland-based duo, explained that on this follow up to 2006’s The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast the twosome “returned to the space music template that [bandmate/partner] Martin [Schmidt] really listened to heavily as a young man: Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, the cosmic burbling sequencer model.”
“Unbeliever,” which the band debuts in this week’s Drop, is not made entirely from synthesizers (therefore, it’s not on Supreme Balloon, musicologists). Daniel, who recently published a Throbbing Gristle book 20 Jazz Funk Greats, gave us some background on this horror-funk great.
How did you compose the track? What instruments/objects were used?
The song started as a Soft Pink Truth track that I cobbled together from samples of some clearance R+B 12’s at Amoeba (the kind that are 25 cents each and no one wants). But when Martin added horror movie synth chords it seemed to want to go into a darker direction and I had to surrender my beats and bleepy basslines to the Matmos (in the process throwing out some hip hop cut-up vocals that were too SPT-ish).
What sort of feeling were you trying to conjure? Late-night dance party?
I guess the feeling that I had in mind is the horror/funk crossover that happens on film soundtracks such as Herbie Hancock’s song “The Party” for the soundtrack to Deathwish, where you have a party imperative and an outside threat kind of tilting against each other. I hope people might dance to it anyway. Have you ever heard the dance mixes of the theme to The Exorcist: II? That’s the ultimate expression of this aesthetic.
For more on the always wonderful Matmos, check out their site.