Foreigner by Kaffe Matthews

Kaffe Matthews comes with a zoology degree and an apprenticeship from time spent with Graeme Park at the Hacienda. A seasoned traveller, she had never lived in one place for very long so she decided to move to Berlin and become a Foreigner, which happens to be the inspiration and title of her new LP. The album sees her utilising the Italian Elka organ and making music that shifts, morphs. Rolls, stops and changes.

Vinyl LP £18.99 OBJ013

LP on Objects Limited.

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Foreigner by Kaffe Matthews
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8/10 Daoud 07 April 2020

The artwork to ‘Foreigner’ presents the challenge Kaffe Matthews made to herself when creating it. To draw a boundary, build it, attempt to move things through it, and then to finally move across it herself. All using sound. 'Foreigner' is an album about migration, about borders.

Matthews presents us with a long form organ drone. Despite being what feels like a niche genre, ‘Foreigner’ actually joins a relatively crowded field featuring the likes of Kali Malone and Ellen Arkbro. It makes sense, the organ is well equipped to drone, which perhaps explains its over-representation among drone artists.

It’s a good instrument to build a boundary with too, the instrument itself is physically imposing, but in not being limited by breath of bow length, the droning building blocks are sturdy and impassable. And they can play very, very long. If not for the limitations of vinyl I think ‘Foreigner’ would be one forty minute track. One that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Though in Matthews’ hands, these boundaries feel fragile. The various tones clash with each other, making discordant little imperfections. They are bolstered by the occasional bass note, all encompassing and destructive, almost completely losing their tone during ‘Foreigner B’.

I don’t know if Matthews was successful in her attempt to cross this border. But given how migrants are often treated, what does success sound like?



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