Mattin is pretty much the uber-collaborator of the sound scene right now
and Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel) is his Southern Hemisphere
equivalent. So it's inevitable they would put their heads together an
come up with a dose of aural virtual reality like Kneale / Mattin. I
rate them both ini the highest terms individually and together. This
disc spun me one-better than dentistry. Conv deserves to be
congratulated for this. Hear it.

liner notes by Bruce Russell

The Wire (London, Nov. 2006)
Campbell Kneale & Mattin

On the face of it a collaboration between Basque laptopper Mattin and New Zealand
dronemeister Campbell Kneale of Birchville Cat Motel seems like an odd idea. Mattin
works the outer limits- it's either ultra-minimal or all out noise attack, delicate wisps and puffs
or feedback apocalypse- whereas Kneale favours fullness of texture and tends to avoid extremes of pace and
Kneale put these seven tracks together from sounds sent by Mattin with a conceptual rigour of which the latter
would surely have approved. Thought he was given two and a half hours of Mattin's solo electric guitar, Kneale ignored the guitar
parts altogether to use the sounds before Mattin started playing and after he stopped, combining them with similar 'no playing'
extracts selected from his own work.
The focus, then, is on preparing to play, or reflecting on playing after teh fact. Indeed, there is little evidence of any playing at all-
the occasional appearance of backwards sound files is a neat metaphor  to rub itself out. Like Rauschenberg's famous Erased De
Kooning Drawing
, it's all about what's left behind: a rich texture of indentations, imperfections and smudges, in keeping with the aesthetics of
both artists.
Dan Warburton

Smallfish (London, Sept. 2006)

Mattin is certainly known for a more abrasive sound style with deep processing and wonderful field / location recordings. This collaboration with Kneale, however, sees a slightly more gentle side coming through. There are still moments of harshness, admittedly, but overall the sound is a softer, experimental tone with layers of texture and some very beautiful drone parts. The tracks work well together and seem to form a natural flow that weaves between the different styles. Overall it's a very engaging work full of clarity and space and comes recommended, as do most of the con-v releases.   [Mike Oliver]

Touching Extremes (Italy Oct. 2006)
- Untitled ( Lab)

 This collaboration between the penetrating intelligencies of Kneale and Mattin brought out some fascinating, mysterious music. The anxious silences and indistinguishable small sounds that break the imaginary continuity of an admirable incoherence introduce us to a world in which the greatest available perspective is equal to being shut into an elevator during an electric blackout. There's a pretty explicit correspondence between the subsonic activity featured in some of these tracks and the tumult made by the psyche during long stints of isolation, here nicely rendered in the shape of whirring buzzes, low-noise montages and, in general, post-industrial aromas - only, painted with the pale shades of evanescent frequencies that at times flutter around a deep drone, amidst the broken barriers of an invisible, yet tangible anguish. In a couple of instances, Mattin's vocal emissions sound like words thrown out by a corpse during an autopsy, like if they had to complete that last sentence uttered before dying. Another low-budget electroacoustic gem on behalf of two hard-headed sonic anarchists.Massimo Ricci

Vital (Netherlands 23th August 2006)

Was it only last week when we wrote: "Mattin. Where doesn't this man go?" That was slightly incomplete, as we should have said also "and with whom didn't he play there?". Here he teams up with Campbell Kneale from New Zealand, who is otherwise known as Birchville Cat Motel. It wasn't a recent meeting, since it was already recorded in 2003. In these seven pieces the two show their love of drone music, and to a lesser extent also their love of noise. It's hard to tell what they do right here (liner by Bruce Russell are missing with my copy), but perhaps it seems to be a fine combination of amplified objects with contact microphones and (for the bigger part), both processed and unprocessed field recordings. For Mattin is moves away from both his love of the super loud (old work) and quite soft (recent work), and seems to be more alike the Birchville Cat Motel work. The humming of radiators and motors form the backbone of the pieces, and miniature sounds on top, sometimes shooting high in the sky through sound effects. Sometimes a piece is a bit too simple in its execution, but throughout it's a fine disc. (FdW)


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