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The West

by Matmos

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The West 21:23


The music that became “The West” emerged out of a social occasion: the marriage ceremony for our friends Steve and Katerin necessitated putting up house guests in our apartment in San Francisco. For the pleasure of sleeping on borrowed mattresses we charged rent in acoustic guitar, banjo, drum and Wittgenstein-recitation duties, recording people on the fly at our home and then heading down later to Los Angeles to gather more material from Steve Goodfriend and Mark Lightcap.
A year earlier I had asked Dave Pajo, an acquaintance from my
high school years in Louisville, Kentucky, to send us some stand-alone guitar elements.
His DAT tape arrived in the mail as these songs were
crystallizing around the wedding party's impromptu pluckings and
twangings. When everyone’s separate fragments were placed together, a kind of hybrid computer/folk form emerged.
We widened the circle of friends further, recording sculptures from Michael Brown, circuit-bent electronics from Jay Lesser,
strings from Martin’s boss Kris Force and her friend Jackie Gratz,
and more drums from Chris Guttmacher.

We weren’t sure if this was still Matmos or not.

Martin and I had already made two self-released records when we
were approached by Mike Martinez about making a vinyl record for his fledgling label, Deluxe; before the era of ubiquitous CD burners,
I would play rough cassette mixes of songs for Mike on my Walkman when he was on break from working shifts at Mod Lang Records in Berkeley.
At the time Martin and I could barely imagine that another person
would be willing to take on the financial risk of helping to release
our music, but Mike and his partner Danielle were encouraging and
had high standards, soundwise and art-wise.
When we all went together to George Horn’s mastering suite
at Fantasy Records, a fuzzy womb of wall-to-wall seventies brown
carpeting, George asked us “Is it a rock record or a dance record?”
We still don’t know. Many people tell us that this is their favorite
Matmos album. It’s the certainly the one that best captures a
particularly open-ended, liquid moment in our history, and I’m glad
it’s once again available.

– Drew Daniel


released July 1, 2016


"A Daemon is an old god, but whose still-haunting power to enthrall the celebrant reverses it's sign: what once was blessed now appears frightful and hideously tempting".
-Richard Klein, Cigarettes are Sublime.

Kris Force: Violin, Viola
Dave Pajo: Tremolo Guitar
Drew Daniel: Samples, Sequencing, Turntable, Dice
M.C. Schmidt: Dry Electric Guitar, SH101, Korg Mono/Poly, Juno 6, Sequencing, Cigarette, Dice, Mix


Dave Pajo: Slow Guitar
Michael Brown: Copper, Water, Contact Mics
Drew Daniel: Sampling, Sequencing, Digital Editing
M.C. Schmidt: Amplified Bible, Mix

3. SUN ON 5 AT 152

Kris Force: Violin
Steve Goodfriend: Drums
Jackie Gratz: Cello
Mark Lightcap: Acoustic/Slide Guitars
Robert Waller: Telephone
Drew Daniel: Sampling, Sequencing, Digital Editing
M.C. Schmidt: Bowed and Plucked Banjo, Mix


Steve Goodfriend: Drums
Chris Guttmacher: Drums
Katerin von Ledersteger: Speaking
J Lesser: Custom Electronics
Mark Lightcap: Acoustic/Slide Guitars, Jew's Harp
Mike Martinez: Guitar
Wiebke Ratzeburg: Speaking
Drew Daniel: Sampling, Sequencing, Digital Editing
M.C. Schmidt: Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mono/Poly, SH101, Vox Supercontinental Organ, Merkur Scorpio, Mix

Design by Rex Ray

A Vague Terrain

©1998 / 2016 Vague Terrain

THANK YOU: everyone who played on or contributed to this recording, Halvor Bodin, Josh Hunt, Danielle Damasius and Mike Martinez, Ian@siRcom, Jamie Tugwell, Filippo, Aquarius Records, Mod Lang, Vinyl Communications, Katie Williams, Kalonica McQueston, Adam Ansell, Jason Noble, Christian Fredrickson, Kyle Crabtree, Otomo Yoshihide/GROUND ZERO, Jim Putnam, Tim Furnish, The San Francisco Art Institute New Genres Department.
Recorded at the homes of Matmos (San Francisco, CA), Dave Pajo (Louisville, KY), Steve Goodfriend (Eagle Rock, CA), Mark Lightcap (Pasadena, CA), and Jim Putnam's Skylab (Los Angeles, CA).

CONTACT MATMOS/Vague Terrain AT: vagueterrain@verizon.net and/or dr.drew.daniel@gmail.com


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Matmos Baltimore, Maryland

Experimental electronic music duo originally from San Francisco but now residing in Baltimore.

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