Album Review

Mattin – “Songbook 5” – [Disembraining]

Thurston Hunger   3/27/2014   12-inch, A Library

Fives are wild. I’m surprised Mattin didn’t change his
name to Matin for this. Five musicians, five songs,
five minutes each, recorded in the fifth month of
last year. As with the excellent Billy Bao “Building
from Bilbao” a Fun House fritz out, the “blender” here
is hugely important. Separate ingredients from Mattin,
Joel Stern, Andrew McLellan, Alex Cuffe and Dean Roberts
(the last gent we have in our library under his own
name as well as White Winged Moth and Thela). It
sounds like their sources, as well as some found
recordings (or forced ones, not sure where the couple
on the concluding track were nabbed from). Inputs
extracted in response to song titles (please note
they are all five words for bonus points on this
assignment). At least that is the alleged plan, but
with Mattin anything is possible and all truths can be
better lies. The lyrics push a thesis of self-renunciation
is self-exploration, and “a free spirit needs to be
captured” (sung/slurred in inimitable Mattin fashion!).
Hamster wheels spin, and we are trapped inside/outside
John Cage’s world. Plenty of guitars, careening off
the mixing blender’s blades, a analog bop of “Love
Will Keep Us Together” comes apart inside the first track
maybe? A sense of collision overrides collaboration.
That last track is the most stark, are we in a
college laundromat or a philosophy club? Is there a
difference? Deconstruction is done, and construction
is king. More punk than any punk record going these
days. Interesting label, and a name for a label with
a release like this which pits physical clashing with
metaphysical hash. Long five Matin.

-Thrst Hungr

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