- Out-there ambient sketches from Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft.
- As a producer, what if your studio experiments weren't part of the journey but the destination? That's the question asked by Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft's new series under the name MATstudio. The name comes from Melody As Truth, the label Nash runs from Amsterdam, through which Kraft has recorded gorgeous ambient music, some of it in collaboration with Nash. They describe the MATstudio series as "collages of improvisations, experiments and accidents," which will arrive as pairs of longform compositions, sometimes with the help of outside collaborators. If this first instalment is anything to go by, these records are intended to live in the out-there section of your record collection.
Indeed, as curious as Nash and Kraft have been in the studio, generally their preference is to calm your mind, not bend it, which makes it surprising to be thinking of Autechre when listening to their music. Parts of "The Land Through Which We Pass"—a great title for a piece that moves through multiple environments—peer over the cliff edge of chaos. Delays stack up, the feedback thickens, and you lose any sense of orientation. There's a part towards the end, led by a trippy hand percussion pattern, that, through a crystalline pad, regains a little normalcy, although only fleetingly.
The guitars and piano of "In Strange Company He Spoke Softly" make it more in keeping with past Nash and Kraft material, but in an uncanny sort of way. These instruments, although gently mangled themselves, are a strong accompaniment to the more extreme effects the pair apply to the machine tones. The piece is generally more coherent than "The Land...," but it eventually slips into a pleasing type of madness, one of the passages that suggest the MATstudio project will be an intriguing but bumpy ride.
01. In Strange Company He Spoke Softly
02. The Land Through Which We Pass