Susan Matthews steps away from her own Sirenwire label for Brutal Fractures, releasing through Andrew Paine’s Sonic Oyster Records. A single 23 minute long avantgarde piece reflecting on brutalist monuments and the human psyche and their common traits. Sometimes atonal and abstracts, made up of a lot of found sound, switching into archival music and heavy drones. Tiny edition of 50 CDRs.
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- Brutal Fractures by Susan Matthews
8/10 Robin Staff review, 06 July 2017
This toy instrument drone sees Susan Matthews release on Andrew Paine’s Sonic Oyster label, taking a brief sabbatical from her postcard avant-garde label Siren Wire, which recently offered the compacted and claustrophobic meditations of ‘From Veliko’. Here, Matthews focuses her ambience on brutalist monuments and their displacement from history -- it speaks to their place in time as well as their inevitable place lodged our present.
Ambient artist Chihei Hatekayama recently dug up a little quote from Goethe comparing music to architecture, and it has its place here: he said that “Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.” It’s this kind of thinking that seems present in Matthews’ music, which describes brutalism through both stasis and movement. Matthews keeps a solid tone brooding through the backdrop of this piece, but implements rattling percussion, sludgy beats and half-lost voices, creating a feeling of human disorientation around and inside the rigid monuments.
Matthews herself compares these concrete structures to “the psyche”, suggesting that its permanence is changed by everything around it. Hearing many of these rumbling, resonant sounds, you can imagine voices coming from within these buildings, or heavy percussive climaxes as dissolving forces on a once pristine object. This twenty-three minute slab of ambient rubble not only focuses on these structures -- it also processes their decay.
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