- "Rocket Number Nine Take off for the Planet Venus" was a tune by psychedelic jazz eccentric Sun Ra, but it's not just his improvisational trips around the solar system that have influenced Ben and Tom Page. They've been touring recently with Four Tet, which makes sense given the way "Matthew and Toby" values glowing but imperfect emotion as the end to which all means point. Also in the picture is Sun Ra and Miles Davis drummer and mutual friend Steve Reid, to whose memory the record is dedicated; clattering drums and rhythmic drive are Tom's rustic, wooden support structure to his brother Ben's shining keyboards. With a session for Gilles Peterson also under their belt, they've come to the fore recently, and judging by "Matthew and Toby," it'll be very interesting to see where they go from here.
Here, though, they produce an entrancing thirteen minutes of meandering post-rock, eeking power from the melodic and rhythmic simplicity in a way that could work nicely as an innovative centrepiece to a warm and playful club set akin to Apparat's recent DJ-Kicks. The kick is constant, and the drums clatter and roll. Well, the first half would work at least, pattering and proud like the start of a crusade, but then after a throbbing lull, the second half sighs like the bittersweet aftermath of a battle that changed everything, evoking hope and regret at the same time.
Hebden obviously thinks the two-part structure is a good idea, because he keeps it but applies a massive growling bassline and stonker of a kick, aiming squarely for dance floor decimation. That's a pretty surprising phrase to be used in reference to Hebden, even considering his lean towards clubbiness of late. Other features are more familiar: a shiny and sturdy analogue riff quirking its way throughout, the choppy acoustic drums strapped straight in from the original and trademark oscillating toned wooden percussion. It doesn't change as much as the original though; it seems some things at least are too experimental for him where the club is concerned (as usual, this is a double-edged sword). Like the original, however, it brings the wandering prog-out up to date in a way that's both nostalgic and refreshing.
A Matthew And Toby
B Matthew And Toby (Four Tet Remix)