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Michael Barrett
Fabulous Disaster
Knoxville Girls
Lemon Jelly
Tom Nunn
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A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure

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Self-mutilation and California go hand in hand, don't they? We're not talking about crusty Los Angeles gutter punks who drop safety pins through their lips, either. We're talking hardcore, non-stop, high-caliber medical maneuvers here. The stuff stars are made of...or aren't made of, in this case. Prepare for your introduction to a truly different, higher form of intense electronic(a) surgery.

This San Francisco duo takes sampling to the ultimate level. It may sicken, startle or stimulate your senses; they've recorded actual surgical procedures and cut, pasted and layered them over ambient, sweeping washes of sound. Both of the men behind Matmos are born of doctors, so it's rather fitting that they follow in their fathers' footsteps, no? Take the opening number, "Lipostudio...and so on", which utilizes Gramm's Medical Liposuction Equipment. You say youíre unfamiliar with Grammís? Well, the magnificent slurping sounds in the background of this track will have you squeamishly squeezing those love handles of yours. Perhaps it's time to renew that gym membership after all. "Memento Mori" takes music to a truly morbid level, as each of the sounds here is composed of human skull, goat spine and connective tissue. You never knew your own body could be so musical -- literally -- did you? Keep in mind that Matmos' sound inclusions are not necessarily aural atrocities intended to disgust; most work quite well with the multifaceted rhythms and constantly evolving beats that make each of the tracks here a true expression of creativity. Capping of the disc is the truly blessed "California Rhinoplasty", which will leave your own proboscis tingling as it washes our your senses with a commanding performance.

There's really no adequate way to describe the undeniably unique sounds that Matmos has created on here. It's more than likely that you've never heard anything like it. Any sort of medical malpractice is out of the question if you choose to check out A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, so slide on those gloves, don your scrubs and prepare for a moving aural oeuvre. The only way a band will be able to best this CD is by having something as fiendish as the gurgled cries of people dying interspersed in between the beats.

Uh-oh -- maybe I just gave Matmos the idea for their next CD. Stay tuned...

-- Andrew Magilow
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