- As the noughties draw to a close and music journalists scramble to pin down the decade's most definitive underground club moments, few will be able to overlook the one-man institutional presence of Mathew Jonson. Not only have his productions helped elevate labels as crucial as Perlon, M_Nus and Wagon Repair to the dizziest heights afforded in techno, his live performances as a solo act and as part of Cobblestone Jazz have consistently positioned him at the forefront of new talent bringing technological hardware to the dance floor in the most innovative ways.
Given his achievements, it's fitting that Jonson should mark the end of the decade by showcasing his combined talent for prospective and retrospective vision on his latest offering. Ghosts in the AI stands as the latest addition to the creepy shop-of-horrors already stocked with monsters like "Marionette" and "Walking on the Hands that Follow Me." This time a marching breakbeat drives the familiar synthetic menace. Arguably his most Frankenstein-like offering yet, "Ghosts in the AI" at once entices tool users with plenty of specimens ripe for dissection and transplant, but its strings provide well-paced drama that allows it to hold up fairly strongly as a standalone heavyweight hitter too.
It's testament to the timelessness of his sound that "Technology Extended"—originally produced in the former half of '00s—can be placed confidently alongside the A-side to provide a concise overview of Jonson's maturity as a producer. "The Alchemist," a cinematically rich, beatless cut taken from a live soundtrack performed by Cobblestone Jazz for the silent film Faust, provides a final point of interest, overtly combining Jonson's penchant for horror and live experimentation by sound as well as name.
Combined, the B-side does little more than contextualise the aesthetic of a producer listeners will almost certainly already be familiar with, leaving "Ghosts in the AI" to do the hard work of adding something new to Jonson's intimidating reputation. Ultimately it's not enough of a diversion to do anything other than uphold it, but this hardly matters when Jonson continues to hit the dance floor as monstrously as he always has.
A Ghosts In The AI
B2 The Alchemist