Matt John - Behind the Atoms

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  • Next offering on Troy Pierce’s respected Underl_ne label is ‘Behind the Atoms’ from Matt John [Perlon, Mo’s Ferry]. Matt John’s take on the less-is-more, cosmic underground is a sonic vortex of ideas and noises executed with vigour and strength. Title track ‘Behind the Atoms’ kicks off with crushed and sliced basslines, miniscule interlocking vocals snippets and noises that quantise and distort for maximum effect. It’s infectious, hypnotic stuff, recalling Alex Under’s recent ‘El Encuentro’. It’s all in the details, and this one is future bound, destined for the main room at Cocoon or Michael Mayer’s record bag. ‘Forgive The Lines’ builds tender keyboards and an acute bass into a cluster of atoms, mechanical madness with samples far off in the desert. The highlight of the track comes in the last forty-five seconds as angry, unprepared, minimal tick-tocks arrive just before you pass out – Hitchcock and a dab of K. First track on the B-side ‘IO’ conjures up heartrending, crisp, ice-cold computer particles – it has a more cognitive feel with basslines layered on top of samples. An easy-to-move melody couples with ghostly chords until Matt John really gets to work, ending the track on bleeding pianos surrounded by broken glass. The EP finishes on ‘Hologram’. A few dozen beats in, the mood darkens and clenches into a fist of strength – Troy Pierce on protein shakes working out with Villalobos (what about Richie?) The gorgeous build-up and tension of the male vocals sew this track together, synth stabs adding to the aural pleasure. Absorbent and cold, loud and hard, these tracks are ideas for the future, not spoilt by the now. Overall, Matt John’s ‘Hologram’ sounds like a happier version of Louderbach's ‘Grace, Anxiety', fitting snugly into the Underl_ne take on no-holds-barred minimal techno.