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 é 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.