Mattin – Exquisite Corpse (LP)




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Mattin – Exquisite Corpse (LP)

“You’ve read the blurbs so by now you know the deal with Mattin: “instigator,” “prankster,” “provocateur,” IM-PRO-VI-SER, sometime “punk.” He’s from Spain or something. Oh, right – Billy Bao, Deflag Haemorrhage, Josetxo Grieta, Sakada. Noise and Capitalism. That’s him. Okay! So in 2009, our man, the “laptop anarchist,” the Christ of Crust, the minimalist gadfly, decamps from his estate in the vineyards of Greece and hangs up his shingle in New York City for nine months. The pregnancy was healthy, thank you, and at the end of the tunnel we wound up with mad “jams” as he collaborated with everyone from Drunkdriver to Emma Hedditch and Pink Reason.

If you’ve been following his work (and even if you haven’t, you big bugbear) you know that Mattin brings a conceptual musician’s ear to his rock ‘n’ roll but he keeps it out of the museum and on the “streetz,” ‘cos that’s where the riots went down, and this places him at a helluva impasse: the European dialectical impulse has no choice but to hurtle head-on into a game of chicken with the American-Historical Rock Narrative (not the name of a band, though it should be) or to get in bed with it and allow their legs to intertwine in an awkward genital embrace. So it was that in the winter of ’08, the bellicose Basque recruited globetrotting bass pervert Margarida Garcia, Kevin Failure of Pink Reason (guitar and piano), and erstwhile Chinese Restaurant “Lucky” Lloyd Frackkbonner (drums) for an exquisitely corpsical seance conducted on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where Lautreamont shakes hands with the Language Poets and hunkers down for a burger and a smoke with Ivan Julian and Dougie Bowne (engineers and Vietnam vets both).

Together they perform an ontological autopsy on the body of rock & roll form, then hogtie the improviser’s process with a rope made of crisis (remember the bailout?) — the Surrealist parlor game subjected here to crushing technology and a stopwatch plus liquor and god-knows-what else.

The Rules: ten songs, each exactly three minutes in duration, recorded in strict ass-backwards fashion: first the vocals, then Kevin’s guitars, etc., then Margarida’s bowed and throbbing bass, then the drums. No second takes. No two musicians were allowed in the studio at the same time and none of them could hear a playback so their only guide – their score, if you will – was Mattin’s lyrics, which themselves are a living corpse that slices itself open to display its guts, which look like these ten songs or a mangled womb.

So we hear it for the first time and guess what? It sounds like a Top-40 station playing nothing but side B of No New York. No shit. Every song is a hit. You can perv it up with exotic ideas, cram it full of ass beads, or run it off the road like a hippie jalopy, but like the man said, you can’t stop rock ‘n’ roll – not in your wildest dreams.”- Azul Discografica.

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