Review: The Rainbow Body – Metatron’s Cube (Rainbow Body Sound Lab, 2012)

Matt Kattman sculpts brutal, immediate “power ambient” structures, that are filled with the shoegazey, rough-edged feel of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s Love is a Stream. Like many hazy, foggy ambient records, this cassette was recorded in a short period of time with the usage of heavily processed guitar. But what is of note is the fact that the album was mastered by Mr. James Plotkin himself. Which made me intrigued to hear the tape: if Plotkin is mastering something, it can’t be half bad, eh? And I was right.

Metatron’s Cube employs a somewhat unorthodox listening policy of placing the identical 38 minutes and 37 seconds of music (described as “program” on the cassette) on both sides of the tape so that it can be listened seemingly “endlessly” with just a brief break for flipping the tape, so the bliss can begin all over again. The “program” is divided into 8 untitled tracks (on the j-card they are described as only their lengths), each touching a slightly different mood and sculpting a different thick and palpable texture, which rumbles the subwoofer and obliterates all other sound into a drifting blur.

The heavy, radiant and super-syrupy drones are laced (or rather: constantly under attack) by ear-drilling glitches, passages of improvised guitar noise elevated to the point of deconstructed, screeching electronic madness that punctures the sea of pulses. Sometimes, however, the noise settles and gives way for more “cultured”, progressive electronic connotations, filling the droning, analog night with glowing sequences, arpeggios and microscoping bleeps and bloops, propelled forward and fuelled by the primeval droning background. Sometimes the seemingly all-mechanic, humanless sounds will bring Keith Fullerton’s Whitmans sweet, warm algorhythms to mind (Generator series, anyone?). But despite that, there is less space here for mathematic experimentalism, and much more space for almost unlimited expression of the love of ambience and long, drawn-out soundscapes. Matt Kattman celebrates ambient and drone music by letting it go freely, by erasing all kinds of limits, the drones can grow to overwhelming heights. Kattman studies how big can a drone grow in its natural environment.


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