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Matmos members M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel have never been known to shy away from the outrageous. Consider the eight inch record put out by Daniel where he tells his family that he is gay.

Or take for instance their recording Quasi Objects, where tracks are laid down using the sonic vibrations of pond water and blades of grass.
Or consider the latest, premiere recording on Matador A Chance to Cut is A Chance to Cure. This disturbingly original CD is filled from start to finish with audio recordings taken from plastic surgeries in process and medical technology: "I was holding a mike right up to a woman's nose while they broke the bones and did the whole procedure," says band member Drew Daniel.

Who knew the the sound of muscle tissue being cauterized could be so funky? And that is what is surprising about this disk. One would expect a dark, and eerie recording but this San Francisco-based duo has sculpted a rather light and enjoyable CD that is as listenable as it is "arty." Despite a few electronic screeches here and there A Chance to Cut is a solid mixture of electronica featuring some upbeat 4/4's and even a house tune.

And best of all, this "concept" album is delivered from its own pretension by having a sense of humor. This is easily the funniest disk I have listened to in some time (granted I have a sick sense of humor).

Though utterly original, Matmos seem to be influenced by Autechre and Mouse on Mars. The album is definitely genre-defying, representing drone, techno, house, and ambient all in the span of 50 minutes, but somehow A Chance never comes across sounding disjointed.

Highlights include the lovely "Lipostudio" that features the sound of fat being sucked during a liposuction operation, the hilarious and funky "Spondee," and the sonic experimentation performed on a test rat's cage in "For Felix."

I was warned not to make this joke, but I have to anyway... there are some Fat Beats to be found on A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure.

-- Robert Lanham

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