Matera Same Here
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Bill Laswell

Matera is yet another of Mick Harris' (Scorn, Quoit) side projects. This time, he's teamed up with Mauro Teho Teardo (Meathead), who adds a vocal dimension that has been mostly lacking in Harris' works since his early Scorn albums. Matera presents an industrial sound, heavy in drum and bass, layered in ambient sounds and the occasional vocal presence. Vocals and lyrics are not intended to provide a mainstream feel, as they are just another layer of sound to the tracks.

The underlying structure of this album is a pulsing electronic bass layered with almost casual drum beats, which range from slow and lacadasical to high tempo and bombastic. The sound is clean and crisp - every tone and crash sounds as the musicians wanted. Unlike previous efforts in the genre, every one of the original eight tracks seems to have a distinct feel all it's own and won't muddily blend into the next track. That's not to say that the album lacks flow, because it does manage to work well as a complete album.

For those used to the usual Mick Harris fare, the first track, Out of Your Woods will immediately be a refreshing change of pace. It's not to say that it's so wholly different in concept, but the addition of Teardo's vocals does add an unusual depth to the track. Later tracks do utilize less of the vocals and fall into the more traditional tone of Harris' experimental ambient industrialism.

There are some exceptional beats on this album. Constant Thing starts slowly, but when it does pick up the pace, you're given a nice moving track that's well structured. Both Non and Same Everywhere provide slow-paced interludes that break up the pace of the louder, more upbeat tracks. The three remix tracks at the end are all nice, but don't really add more to the album than the originals.

Matera's Same Here is an album that fans of the genre will appreciate. If you've enjoyed previous efforts by Mick Harris, this one will not disappoint. Music listeners not familiar with the genre may not appreciate the album quite as much, especially since the inclusion of vocals is really not in a traditional manner.

- - Kinderfeld

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