Mattin – “Songbook Vol. 4” – [Azul Discografica]
Mattin is no stranger to the KFJC airwaves. In our library you’ll find a ton of his work, under his own name, with the projects Billy Bao, Regler, Josetxo Grieta, and Consumer Electronics, and in collaboration with many artists… even Junko! This CD is the fourth volume of his Songbook series of improvised works recorded in 2006 in Tokyo. It lists six tracks, though my CD player reads only one long 22 minute track that contains the entire performance. Mattin is on vocals and guitar and is joined by a full band: another guitar, bass, piano, and – from over in the toilet – saxophone and Tomoya Izumi’s screaming. Dissonant guitar violence, driving rhythms propelled not by drums but by bass thump, piano keys stumbling around and clashing with guitar strings.
It all surrounds Mattin’s distorted, disturbed vocals that he claims are inspired by Lou Reed, but I hear more Damo Suzuki, Alan Vega, or someone more deranged. His performance is at once a parody of and a tribute to the underground rock show: the avant garde artist defying conventions with raucous noise and screamed lyrics, his back to the audience (or is he just a talentless asshole?) and the adventurous audience members engaged and rapt (or are they just pretentious snobs?). Mattin begs his audience for forgiveness (“I wanted to please apologize for my lack of talent”) or confronts them directly (“your expectations are the worst nightmare any human being could have”). It’s all pretty uncomfortable, and you can hear the tension in the stunned applause from the four or five people that showed up to the gig. Strange, vicious, and hilarious. WHY DO WE LET HIM DO THIS?
FCC at ~6:00 “this is another fucking lie”