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A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Marvel,
This review is from: A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure (Audio CD)
So who/what are Matmos? Let's look at the sleeve of 'A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure': writing far too small to read without an arc-lamp and Jodrell Bank, and strange pictures of forceps, stanley-knife blades and a woman with a mutant eye. Maybe that's significant. The back of the cd case has a bit of bacon, two kidneys and a tapeworm (dissected).
The whole package design looks like the title-sequence of Cronenberg's 'Dead Ringers', but there's nothing clinical about the sound. Being antiseptically procedural doesn't rile a Matmos.
'A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure' is electro-music, pre-occupied with the clanking and hissing of the (strangely inspirational) operating theatre. It's easy to deconstruct, deadly simple to lay down its parts. It's the sight and sound of fresh, shiny blood being washed down a gleaming white china sluice. "Now count down with me ..10, 9, 8..." Sharp as a suture needle, surgically spirited etc. In a phrase: It is the machine that goes "PING!"
So who/what are Matmos? They're slightly Can in a dementedly experimental phase; slightly Kraftwerk in a 'everybody-eventually-descends-from Kraftwerk' sense, and mightily, 23 Skidoo - that 'Seven Songs' masterwork raises it's truculent head yet again, over and beyond what-we've-dared-NOT-to expect.
'Memento Mori' is the tale of a toothbrush rattling in it's beaker, then someone serenely constructs a rabbit-hutch. I had a rabbit called Harold and I wept for weeks when he died. Is it you Harold? Is it really you...?
'Spondee' is one of those toddler education aids. Hear a word, press a button, bit of disco. Surprising.
So who/what are Matmos? The bit that's come into review-space now is 'Ur Tchun Tan Tsi Qi' (VERY strange my spellchecker hasn't rejected any of these words) and it is bleeping and squeaking deep under the skin of my 3:00am. I am SO tempted to hang my policy and read a couple other reviews to see what more lateral thinking reviewers have come up with; to see if any of them has spotted the sample off the 'Shockwaves' soundtrack - but that'd seriously dilute the fun of Matmos. That'd only be cheating myself.
The final incision is 'California Rhinoplasty'. The Clangers are on that delightful little scarred planet, David Lynch is blowing down something and there's a train, I think. A little steam train....
'A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure' is something I realise/ponder every time I re-read one of my Amazon reviews, and you can tell from the concise and precise way I've tackled it, I'm fully sympathetic to it's furiously acidic geotaxis. It's fusive shimmer. It's scalpel-scar numbness.
And yes, 'rhinoplasty' DID knobble my spellchecker.