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Customer Review

on 12 March 2004
I bought this album unfamiliar with Matmos, perhaps unwisely, as this is not music for the uninitiated. The more you listen to it though, the more strange and wonderful parts of it seem. Unusually for the glitchy end of electronica, the music is amazingly evocative and narrational, whole epics of time and place – specifically, in this case, civil-war America. Some of the tracks, in particular the twenty-minute suite of ‘Reconstruction’ and ‘YTTE’ are whole stories in themselves, with marching bands, campfires and fireworks tucked into their varied soundscapes. 'Regicide' opens things off nicely with shuddering beats and waves of chimes and static, while the 'Jealous Order of Candied Knights' is the electronica equivalent of morris dancing (and I don't mean that in bad way!). As you may gather, this is a difficult album to describe, albeit one that may appeal to those beyond the ambient and glitch genres for its pure evocative power. While ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ and ‘Pelt and Holler’ demonstrate the more frustrating side of Matmos’ style, ‘The Struggle Against Unreality Begins’ is the album’s most dramatic moment, which surges abrasively into a thing of some power. A genuine journey.
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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