‘Ultimate Care II’ is the new album from renowned conceptual electronics duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt).
Recorded in the basement studio of their home in Baltimore, the album is constructed entirely out of the sounds generated by a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II model washing machine. Like its namesake, the album runs across its variations as a single, continuous thirty eight minute experience that starts with the grinding turn of the wash size selection wheel, and ends with the alert noise that signals that the wash is done. Between these audio-verité book-ends, we experience an exploded view of the machine, hearing it in normal operation but also as an object being rubbed and stroked and drummed upon and prodded and sampled and sequenced and processed by the duo, with some occasional extra help from an ultra-local crew of guest stars (some of whom regularly do laundry chez Matmos).
Dan Deacon, Max Eilbacher (Horse Lords), Sam Haberman (Horse Lords), Jason Willett (Half Japanese) and Duncan Moore (Needle Gun) all took part, either playing the machine like a drum, processing its audio, or sending MIDI data to the duo’s samplers. The vocabulary of the Ultimate Care II, its rhythmic chugs, spin cycle drones, rinse cycle splashes, metallic clanks and electronic beeps are parsed into an eclectic syntax of diverse musical genres. The result is a suite of rhythmic, melodic and drone-based compositions that morph dramatically but remain fanatically centered upon their single, original sound source.
In addition to releasing a string of acclaimed albums over the past 20 years, Matmos have played the uterus and reproductive tract of a cow at the San Francisco Art Institute, canisters of helium at Radio City Music Hall (while opening for Bjork) and John Cage’s personal collection of conch shells at Carnegie Hall.
Matmos have also collaborated and performed with Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, Antony Hegarty, William Basinski and Horse Lords.
Three videos will be serviced: one by Baltimore musician Max Eilbacher (Horse Lords, Needle Gun), one by infamous collage artist / plunderphonic cut-up wizard Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us) and one by Ed Apodaca of San Francisco motion graphics firm L-inc, who created the ‘Very Large Green Triangles’ video for Matmos’ last album.
Ultimate Care II