Matmos are an American electronic/experimental music duo consisting of Creator Couple Drew Daniel and Martin "M.C." Schmidt that formed in 1995. They were originally based in San Francisco, California, but later moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 2007 so Daniel could work as an associate professor at Jon Hopkins University. They are well known for their extensive use of field recordings and samples of household objects and everyday activities.
They have released twelve studio albums and five extended plays, and the themes of their music include The Wild West, plastic surgery, The American Civil War, the LGBTQ community, parapsychology, laundry, plastic use and more.
- Matmos (1997)
- Quasi-Objects (1998)
- The West (1999)
- A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure (2001)
- The Civil War (2003)
- A Rose Has Teeth in the Mouse of a Beast (2006)
- Supreme Balloon (2008)
- Treasure State (2010) note
- The Marriage of True Minds (2013)
- Ultimate Care II (2016)
- Plastic Anniversary (2019)
- The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form (2020) note
- Full on Night (2000) note
- California Rhinoplasty EP (2001)
- Rat Relocation Program (2004)
- For Alan Turing (2006)
- The Ganzfeld EP (2012)
Matmos provides examples of the following tropes.
- Author Appeal: Field recordings and samples of household objects and everyday activities are extremely prevalent in their music.
- Broken Record: "Nice Men in Stable Relationships" features the title repeated frequently throughout the song.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The last two songs on disc one of The Consuming Flame contain plenty of fucks and shits to go around.
- Concept Album: Several of their albums deal with various concepts.
- The West is about The Wild West.
- A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure is about plastic surgery.
- The Civil War alternates between songs about The American Civil War and songs about The Middle Ages.
- The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast is about the lives of several LGBTQ people who have influenced the duo.
- The Marriage of True Minds is about Daniel and Schmidt's experiences undergoing the Ganzfeld experiment over the course of four years.
- Ultimate Care II is an album about doing the laundry. Yes, you read that right.
- Plastic Anniversary deals with the overproduction and overuse of plastic products and their effect on the environment.
- Cover Version: They have covered the songs "Disco Hospital" by Coil and "E.S.P." by Buzzcocks. Daniel has also covered numerous Hardcore Punk and Black Metal songs under his Soft Pink Truth moniker.
- Creator Couple: Daniel and Schmidt are happily married.
- Dream Team: They collaborated with Björk on her albums Vespertine and Medúlla. They also released a split EP with Post-Rock/chamber music band Rachels.
- Epic Rocking: Their album The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form contains over three hours of music, spread across three discs with 44 songs.
- Everything Is an Instrument: This trope is a staple for them. Examples include:
- Matmos, which samples haircuts, breathing and the neural activity of crayfish.
- Quasi-Objects, which is composed using household objects.
- A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, which uses samples from the slicing, snipping, drilling and sawing sounds of plastic surgeries on almost every song save for For Felix (And All the Rats), which is composed with the tapping of the cage of Daniel and Schmidts recently deceased pet rat.
- The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouse of a Beast, which samples the sounds of a bovine uterus, glassware, haircuts, scissors cutting paper, cigarette lighting, farting and burping.
- Ultimate Care II, which is composed only using the sounds of their Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine.
- Plastic Anniversary, which is composed entirely with plastic objects.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The Consuming Flame features a total of 99 collaborators, including Mouse On Mars, Blake Harrison of Pig Destroyer, and several students on Daniel's "Sound as Music" class.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The Consuming Flame's cover art is just the band and album name in black text on a blank white background.
- New Sound Album: Every single album sounds different from one another, from the Americana/Medieval-influenced The Civil War to the washing machine-based album Ultimate Care II.
- Older Than They Look: Drew Daniel is roughly fifty years old, but appears to look in his mid-thirties due to having no grey hair.
- One Last Smoke: "Last Delicious Cigarette" from The West.
- Self-Titled Album: Their debut album is titled Matmos.
- Sensory Abuse: "Regicide" and "The Precise Temperature of Darkness" both have intensely noisy moments.
- Shout-Out: Every song on The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouse of a Beast is dedicated to a particular LGBTQ person who influenced them, from writer Valerie Solanas to late singer of the Germs Darby Crash.
- Solo Side Project: Drew Daniel records microhouse and experimental techno music under the name The Soft Pink Truth.
- Something Completely Different: Most of their albums involve heavy uses of sampling and field recordings, but Supreme Balloon is a standard electronic album composed with old school synthesizers manufactured by the likes of Moog and Arp.
- Title Track: The West, Supreme Balloon, Ultimate Care II and Plastic Anniversary all have a title track.
- Toilet Humor: There is lots of farting and burping heard partway through "Tract for Valarie Solanas".
- The Western: The West is based off of the days of The Wild West.