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Matmos Unveil New Album, 'Return To Archive'
Christian Eede , September 18th, 2023 13:11

It's made entirely from sounds lifted from non-music albums released by Smithsonian Folkways

Matmos have shared details of a new album, Return To Archive.

The duo's 14th studio album sees them get to grips with the archives of the Smithsonian Folkways label ahead of its 75th anniversary. Accepting an invite from the label to create new music, they ultimately set out to make an album entirely from sampling the "non-musical" recordings originally published by the label in the mid-20th century.

To mark the album's announcement, the duo have shared lead cut 'Mud-Dauber Wasp'. The track was made from a single sound source: 'Mud-Dauber (Wasp) Flight' from Albro T. Gaul's 1960 Smithsonian Folkways album Sounds Of Insects. You can watch a video for 'Mud-Dauber Wasp' above.

In a statement about Return To Archive, Matmos' Drew Daniel said: "Because we were not interested in reworking the music of other people (having just done that in our immediately preceding album, Regards/Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer, on which we built new music out of elements from the Polish electro-acoustic composer), for this project we decided that we would rather focus exclusively upon the nature and science recordings within the label's catalogue and would make music only by sampling those sources without adding any new sounds of our own.

"We hoped to activate the rich musical potential within the hoots, gurgles, thunks, zaps, howls, drips, bangs and zings that haunt classic early Folkways LPs from the The Sounds Of The Office (1964) to Sounds Of Medicine (1955) to The Science of Sound (1958). From cable cars on land to bottlenose dolphins underwater, from the quietest gurgling of gastro intestinal interiors to the wildest squalls of junkyard landscapes and the howling ionosphere above the clouds, an entire sonic universe lay hidden in the back alleys of this back catalogue."

Smithsonian Folkways will release Return To Archive on November 3, 2023.