matt shoemaker
isolated agent | stranding behavior
(eeaoa031) picture disc LP

Elevator Bath's ongoing series of picture disc LPs (each record being adorned with full-color artwork by the recording artist) continues with Matt Shoemaker's debut appearance on vinyl: An enigmatic pairing of new recordings with appropriately cryptic artwork.

Much of Shoemaker's recorded output prominently features the use of field recordings (see his
Tropical Amnesia One CD), but in this case he has eschewed such grounded measures and has instead sculpted a two-part puzzle which seemingly exists on some other plane(t). Layer upon evolving layer of sonic phenomena is still the methodological trademark, but the content is almost entirely electronic, lending a great deal of vivid color to a description of blackest space. The two works presented here are powerfully mysterious, unsettling examples of Matt Shoemaker's prowess as a composer of details, of moods and tenses.

The improbably relevant artwork for this picture disc consists of two collages utilizing Shoemaker's own hand-dyed paper. The images, as well as their meanings, are essentially abstract and yet remarkably familiar. On the A side, the
Isolated Agent scuttles in a circular motion, forever locked in an endless search for the unknown element. The B side depicts the constant retreat, the Stranding Behavior inevitably resulting in/from confusion.

"You realize what you are implying? That we owe our human condition here to the intervention of insects."

Matt Shoemaker's music has been released by such labels as Trente Oiseaux, The Helen Scarsdale Agency, and Ferns Recordings. He resides in Seattle.

This picture disc LP has been released in an edition of 233 copies.

Total running time: 30 minutes

Track list:

  1. isolated agent
  2. stranding behavior

The other record is by Matt Shoemaker, who seems to be always present, with his regular releases on labels as Ferns and The Helen Scarsdale Agency. His work recently shifted a bit more towards that of working with field recordings, but on this LP it all seems to be electronic again. I have no idea wether these are the result computers working overtime or meters and meters of cable connecting one synthesizer to another, and once connected start playing themselves, almost, as it were. Shoemaker layers the results of whatever process he applies on a multitude of tracks and does some highly creative mixing with those sounds. Highy atmospheric (obviously! I'd say) of course, but Shoemaker's work is also a bit more experimental than the usual drone minds (UK, USA, otherwise). Shoemaker knows how to put in a strange angle in his work, that makes it just a bit different than the ordinary drone record. Partly based in the seventies cosmic tradition, partly drone and partly serious avant-garde, but with a long, stretched time signature. Great record.
- Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

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