The idea to make an album entirely out of the sounds of a washing machine came to Matmos’ Martin Schmidt as he drummed his fingers on the Whirlpool Ultimate Care II in his home studio, lost in abstracted contemplation of its cyclical rhythms. What began as a lark turned into a profound investigation into the creative process itself.
“It started with just the sound of the washing machine itself” says Daniel. “We made a recording of its full cycle, but we were really disappointed in it.” Matmos began experimenting, such that eventually “the album’s arc duplicates the process of getting more and more elaborately involved in the question of: How do we turn this into an instrument?”. Presented as one continuous track, the album is 38 minutes long, exactly the length of one wash cycle. Recently released, it is appropriately titled Ultimate Care II, after its star. The washing machine was not available for comment.
The duo’s last Berlin performance was ahead of their previous album, The Marriage of True Minds, which was based on parapsychological experiments and premiered at CTM 2013.
Opening the night is ascendent Swedish composer Klara Lewis, appearing in support of her upcoming May release on Editions Mego, Too. Lewis’s blurred rhythms flow over texture-rich, sometimes organic, sometimes abstract backgrounds, and create impressions of rich soundscapes that oscillate between warm optimism, strange eeriness and coolly aggressive gestures. The result is a hypnotic vortex that draws the listener into a unique time and idiosyncratic sound world for each piece. Too can perhaps be best described as a captivating form immersive audio theater that completely relies on the sonic imagination of the listener.
Klara Lewis’s debut album Ett was released by the venerable Editions Mego label in 2014, and was widely represented on year-end lists as one of 2014's strongest offerings across the electronic music spectrum. Lewis is supported by the 2016 SHAPE platform.
The SHAPE platform is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.