Seize the Means of Complexity
new release Xong collection (XX09)
Xing presents the LP Seize the Means of Complexity by Mattin, ninth release of XONG collection - artist records. The release is on white vinyl, in a limited numbered edition of 150 copies. The collector's edition consists of 20 copies, each accompanied by a different polaroid - credit card size - portraying fragments from the social media universe.

Seize the Means of Complexity, the new record by Mattin is a call for all social media users of the world to unite: "We are in the asshole of history. Broken individuals struggling with mental health, media obsession, need for attention and legitimation. Burning souls searching for validation, suffering from imposter syndrome in a post-Netflix wasteland. From the ruins of our subjectivity, something can be built; something must be built. To seize the means of complexity, we must comprehend the tools of algorithmic subsumption, and leverage that knowledge to steer their development towards an open-source conception of subjectivity. We should all have access to the codes, technologies, models, and complexities that shape our lives. By embracing noise rather than shying away from it, this adaptive open-source subject could pave the way for a future transcending capitalist realism and its end of history, forging a new form of communism fit for the 21st century."

Seize the Means of Complexity is the recomposition of some materials Mattin used in his interactive performances over the last year: a mass of musical fragments that crystallise as a call for mobilisation.

As the title of the album advises, or rather states: to not be crushed by the symptoms that social media produces on us, we must seize the opportunity opened up by the internet in its widest complexity. How can we collectivize the psychosomatic consequences produced by the Meganets? How can we reverse-engineer social media? The new record by Mattin, commissioned for Xong collection, contains recordings from TikTok and Instagram (hits, pop songs, advertising and voice), that can be heard as a chorus of fragments from the multitude addressing psychic destabilization and the horizon of paranoia and alienation. This plunderphonia of sounds transmitted by the global media opens the possibility of addressing what it means to be human beyond the liberal individual. Seize the Means of Complexity is a proposition, a sonic stage for something to happen.

Thank you Anil Anil Bawa-Cavia for the title and to Patricia Reed and Miguel Prado for the great conversation at the Social Discipline podcast which influenced some of the ideas developed on this record.

Xong is the name of the collection produced by Xing, a vinyl-only record label of works by both Italian and international personalities linked to the variegated worlds of live performativity. The collection explores a geography of artists who present this sonic field as a platform to expand their staged worlds. "The space of the record" is given focus and amplifies their poetics as both a sonic and physical phenomenon. Xong is a unique project that draws out divergent understandings of the performative and live arts, beyond genre and intersecting between different practices. Xong collects a series of original creations that constitute an expanded program. Each physical record is a numbered edition on white vinyl hosting the solidification of the gesture. A wave upon wave, a series of "Music-Non-Music" to actualize both the artists and listeners imagination. Xing is a cultural organization based in Bologna, Italy, operating with the purpose of planning, supporting and promoting products and events characterized by an interdisciplinary approach toward the issues of contemporary culture. The records are distributed in the experimental music and art circuits. Main retailers for international sale: Soundohm (mail order) and Flash Art (only collector’s editions). ***

Seize the Means of Complexity
realised by Mattin at Abject Musik Studio, 2022
mastered by Rashad Becker, Clunk Studio
cover by Mattin
artwork Xing
print handle with care Berlin
format vinyl (white)
released by Xing in an edition of 150 copies
including collector’s edition of 20 copies, each accompanied by a different polaroid portraying fragments of the social media universe, 5,4 cm x 8,6 cm, signed by the artist
cat.n° XONG collection XX09 (2023)
label Xing

A: (20:00)
B: (20:06)

Kinkaleri/Jacopo Benassi – ONCE MORE (XX01 - 2021)
Giampiero Cane/Daniela Cattivelli – Postfantamusicologia (XX03 - 2021)
Romeo Castellucci/Scott Gibbons - IL TERZO REICH
 (XX04 - 2022)
Luciano Maggiore - Very cheap non-human animal imitations (XX05 - 2022)
Margherita Morgantin/Ilaria Lemmo/Beatrice Goldoni - COSMIC SILENCE 5, fluorescence 4
 (XX06 - 2022)
Canedicoda/Renato Grieco – Ehm (XX07 - 2023)
Invernomuto – VERNASCACADABRA (XX08 - 2023)
Mette Edvardsen - Livre d'images sans images (XX10 - 2023)
Valerio Tricoli - A Circle of Grey (XX11 - 2023)

Radio plays:


Field Notes Berlin
Releases of The Month January 2024
17 January, 2024 | Kristoffer Cornils

New year, new music: field notes editor Kristoffer Cornils greets the new year with new releases by Cedrik Fermont, Eiko Yamada, Mattin, the late Phill Niblock and many more.

Mattin – Seize the Means of Complexity (Xing, LP)

»We are in the asshole of history,« proclaims Berlin-based Basque noise, improv and conceptual artist Mattin in a text accompanying his new LP with the wonderful title »Seize the Means of Complexity↗.« If you’re wondering what that means, don’t worry, he’s got you covered: »To seize the means of complexity, we must comprehend the tools of algorithmic subsumption, and leverage that knowledge to steer their development towards an open-source conception of subjectivity.« With a dialectical twist, he therefore uses recordings from TikTok and Instagram for two plunderphonic noise tracks that are just as wild and disturbing as their source material—but communicate this openly. Capitalist realism must be overcome, Mattin demands in allusion to Mark Fisher, who in turn once wrote that » emancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ›natural order,‹ must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency.« This might be very well understood to be the implicit aesthetic guiding principle of this wonderfully confusing album.


»We are in the asshole of history«, verkündet der in Berlin lebende baskische Noise-, Improv- und Konzeptkünstler Mattin im Begleitschreiben zu seiner neuen LP mit dem schönen Titel »Seize the Means of Complexity↗«, den er im Folgenden auch gleich erklärt: »To seize the means of complexity, we must comprehend the tools of algorithmic subsumption, and leverage that knowledge to steer their development towards an open-source conception of subjectivity.« Mit einer dialektischen Volte verwendet er deshalb Aufnahmen aus dem TikTok- und Instagram-Dauerfeuer, um daraus zwei plunderphonische Noise-Tracks zu erschaffen, die genauso wild und verstörend sind wie ihr Ausgangsmaterial – das allerdings offen kommunizieren. Der kapitalistische Realismus müsse überwunden werden, fordert Mattin in Anspielung auf Mark Fisher↗. Der wiederum prägte mit der Parole »Emanzipatorische Politik muss immer den Anschein einer ›natürlichen Ordnung‹ zerstören und das als notwendig und unausweichlich Dargestellte als reine Kontingenz aufdecken« wohl den impliziten ästhetischen Leitgedanken dieses wunderbar-wirren Albums ab.

Il manifesto (Edizione del 2 dicembre 2023)

*** Elegante vinile bianco a tiratura limitata (150 copie), il nuovo «disco da artista» della label bolognese (di proposito non firmato dall’autore) è un appello «politico»: vicino all’estetica di John Cage, la musica invita gli utenti dei social media a unirsi per combattere contro l’inquinamento mentale prodotto da molte fonti comunicative. A livello uditivo l’album ricompone differenti materiali usati da Mattin in performance interattive: una massa cristallizzata di frammenti sonori di ascolto impegnativo. (guido michelone)

Yellow Green Red (Matt Korvette, January 2024)

Ever the sonic provocateur, Mattin’s newest solo piece is a difficult listen, even by his uncompromising standards. Seize The Means Of Complexity is a stark album, one that does a fine job of examining the experience of living in 2023; it’s probably better utilized as a time capsule for future generations to dissect than you or me to sit and listen to right now. Across two twenty-minute sides, there are long stretches of chattering electronic interference and gut-soothing bass tones, and equally long stretches of chopped-up pop detritus. Familiar (yet warped) bits of Taylor Swift, Shakira and Soulja Boy songs cascade forward, as if you’re stuck in an infinite TikTok scroll with a battery at one percent that never shuts down. For many noise artists through the years, inflicting pain upon the listener has been a stated goal, and I can’t think of a better way to accomplish that right now than the sounds of a soul-sucking digital-pop slideshow (at least until noise artists start harnessing those secret CIA noise cannons that cause vision loss and evacuated bowels). Honestly, when the clips of pop-music surrender to the void of choppy arhythmic noise for a few minutes in the middle of the second side, it’s a relief. Only Mattin could offer harsh electronics as a welcome respite to whatever else he’s serving up.

Bad Alchemy #39

Diese Kulturorganisation in Bologna hat 2023 weitere Prachtstücke in ihrer Xong Collection publiziert. Exklusiv auf weißem Vinyl findet man da als 'MusicNon-Music' „Ehm“ (XX07) von Canedicoda & Renato Grieco, „Vernascacadabra“ (XX08) von Invernomuto, „Livre d'images sans images“ (XX10) von Mette & Iben Edvardsen. Und dazwischen wiederholt MATTIN mit Seize the Means of Complexity (XX09, LPl) sein Ceterum censeo: We should all have access to the codes, technologies, models, and complexities that shape our lives. By embracing noise rather than shying away from it, könnte das, was Mattin 'Open-Source-Subjekt' nennt, pave the way for a future transcending capitalist realism and its end of history, forging a new form of communism fit for the 21st century. Noch ist es umgekehrt, die Parasiten und Komplexitäten haben freien Zugang zu allen Gehirnen, und lassen ganze Gesellschaften am toten Ende der Geschichte taumeln zwischen der Wiederholung ihrer Fehler als noch blutigere Farce, und immer gleichen Schweinereien, die in des Kaisers neuen Kleidern durchs globale Dorf getrieben werden. Dagegen legt Mattin sich quer mit einer Plunderphonie aus dumpfer, nur noch ambient surrender oder vinylig hoppelnder Dekonstruktion und Schnipseln von Soul-, HipHop- und Popsongs und Spots auf TikTok und Instagram, die deren konsumistische Wichserei und hysterisierende Daueranimation zerschrotet, zerloopt oder, ähnlich wie Romeo Castellucci & Scott Gibbons bei „Il Terzo Reich“ (XX04), im Mash-up entlarvt. Mattins Ziel als gewitzter Adept von Negativland, The Tape-Beatles, People Like Us ist ein 'neuer Kommunismus', der sich, kosmonautisch und mit Hammer & Sichel doch auch dem 'guten alten' verbunden, ankündigt im Weckruf: Social-Media-User aller Länder, entzieht Euch der algorithmischen Bevormundung und Entwürdigung, vereinigt Euch ohne Päpste und Monopole, jenseits von Konsum und Konkurrenz. Ein starkes Mittel dieser 'Music-Non-Music' ist das No. Zweck ist es, ein anderer Mensch unter anderen Menschen zu werden und die Lebenswelt anders zu gestalten.

Sodapop (7th December 2023)

Mattin lavora nell’ottica della plunderohonia ricostituendo due suites di venti minuti l’una con frantumi di video tik tok, hits pop e frammenti vari, cercando dichiaratamente di smuovere l’ascoltatore a riprendere in mano i propri codici binari e di rete. Poi però all’ascolto si resta fossilizzati in un’angustia fantasma per i primi dieci minuti del primo lato, in attesa che questi zapping random prenda possesso della traccia. Il bagno di vacuità è aperto, con gli scarichi aperti sulla nostra plastica di scarto, per un progetto digestivo che mischia sofferenze e maschere, festa e lacrime. Nella seconda parte del disco pare che Mattin abbia acceso un crogiuolo sotto questo insieme, sfruttandone il crepitio per legarlo e trasfigurarlo in una fusione alimentata da un mantice che forse potrebbe realmente essere la forza propulsiva che il basco si aspettava. Sotto poi cresce una forza che ha movenze e sembianze di rettile, nuova chimera che gonfia le proprie spire con i ronzii e le basse frequenze gestite nel maelstrom sonoro. Poi il tutto si cheta, quasi a rendere inteleggibile la frequenza entro le quali siamo andati a finire, mantenendo però una dinamicità di ascolto che ci fa apprezzare l’opera. Quando verso il finale ci sembra di ascoltare dei giocattoli imbizzarriti con una voce salmodica ci preoccupiamo, ma in realtà è tutto parte del piano ordito da Mattin, che ci ha obnubilato la mente e prenderà di noi solo chi al termine lo guarderà negli occhi con un sorriso sardonico sul viso. Per temerari, rivoluzionari ed amanti del rumore in ogni sua sfumatura di colore. by Vasco Viviani

Blow UP (January 2024)

Loop (Valparaíso)


Agente provocador o agitador vasco, son algunos de los adjetivos dados a Mattin, lo que probablemente se relacionan con su activismo político en varias organizaciones artísticas. Mattin es un artista y músico de Bilbao, País Vasco, quien está activo desde 2001, con seis álbumes y un sencillo editados como Al Karpenter y más de setenta discos publicados como Mattin. Participa en la banda Billy Bao y el proyecto Regler. Ha colaborado con importantes músicos de la vanguardia como Alan Courtis, Eddie Prévost, Rosy Parlane, Tony Conrad, Valerio Tricoli, por nombrar a algunos. Mattin trabaja principalmente con ruido e improvisación y ha escrito ensayos y realizado charlas sobre software libre, improvisación, contra la noción de propiedad intelectual y es editor del libro - también editado en español - “Ruido y Capitalismo” (2009), junto a Anthony Iles y autor de “Social Dissonance” (2022). La traducción del libro "Disonancia social" (al español) está apunto de salir en Dobra Robota Editora (Buenos Aires, Argentina) y en Tsonami Ediciones (Valparaíso, Chile). Mattin desarrolla actualmente múltiples otras actividades como performances, exposiciones y conciertos de música en distintos países de Europa. Xong es el nombre de la colección producida por el sello italiano Xing, siendo este nuevo álbum el noveno en dicha colección. Como sugiere el título del álbum ("Apoderarse de los medios de la complejidad”) Mattin plantea: “para no dejarnos aplastar por los síntomas que nos producen las redes sociales, debemos aprovechar la oportunidad que nos abre Internet, en su más amplia complejidad”. En mi interpretación, lo que yo “escucho” de Mattin es que entre otros efectos nocivos que producen las redes sociales, son la alienación y subyugación. En tal sentido Mattin agrega que “todos deberíamos tener acceso a los códigos, las tecnologías, los modelos y las complejidades que dan forma a nuestras vidas”. En este disco Mattin trabaja con fragmentos de grabaciones de TikTok e Instagram (éxitos, canciones pop, publicidad y retazos de voces), mostrando de esta forma el poderío de los medios sobre cuáles deberían ser las conductas deseadas en la sociedad (y cuáles deberían ser sancionadas). Este saqueo sonoro sólo se ve interrumpido por algunos monólogos, silencios y texturas electrónicas. En este saqueo Mattin edita los sonidos y los manipula y retuerce hasta reconvertirlos, o bien los muestra tal cual son para que no pierdan su esencia y desfachatez.
Guillermo Escudero
Diciembre 2023


Agent provocateur or Basque agitator are some of the adjectives given to Mattin, which probably relate to his political activism in various artistic organizations. Mattin is an artist and musician from Bilbao, Basque Country, active since 2001, with six albums and one single released as Al Karpenter and more than seventy albums published as Mattin. He participates in the band Billy Bao and the Regler project. He has collaborated with important avant-garde musicians such as Alan Courtis, Eddie Prévost, Rosy Parlane, Tony Conrad, Valerio Tricoli, to name a few. Mattin works mainly with noise and improvisation and has written essays and given talks on free software, improvisation, against the notion of intellectual property and is the editor of the book - also published in Spanish - “Noise & Capitalism” (2009) with Anthony Iles and author of “Social Dissonance” (2022). The translation to Spanish of the book "Social Dissonance" is about to be published in Dobra Robota Editora (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and in Tsonami Ediciones (Valparaíso, Chile). Mattin currently develops multiple other activities such as performances, exhibitions and music concerts in various European countries. Xong is the name of the collection produced by the Italian label Xing, this new album being the ninth in this collection. As the album's title (“Seize the Means of Complexity”) suggests, Mattin states: “to not be crushed by the symptoms that social media produces on us, we must seize the opportunity opened up by the internet in its widest complexity. “In my interpretation, what I “listen” from Mattin is that among other harmful effects that social networks produce, are alienation and subjugation. In this sense he adds: “We should all have access to the codes, technologies, models, and complexities that shape our lives.” In this album Mattin works with fragments of TikTok and Instagram recordings (hits, pop songs, advertising and snippets of voices), thus showing the power of the media over what behaviors are desired in society (and those that must be sanctioned). This sound plundering is suffocating and only is interrupted by some monologues, silences, and electronic textures. In this plunder Mattin edits the sounds and manipulates and twists them, until he reconverts them or shows them, as they are so that they do not lose their essence and impudence.
Guillermo Escudero
December 2023

number 1413
week 48

Had I followed the career path I thought I had ahead of me, I would have ended up as a high school history teacher, and now, 40 years later, I am contemplating early retirement. Had I done so, I would probably not be on social media. Now, I have to; there is a product to promote or a place to reach many people to say how sorry I am for sending out last week's issue 8 times, beyond my control. Basque artist Mattin has a new record about social media and a daft/utopian vision: a call for social media users of the world to unite so that access to the codes, technologies, models and complexities that shape our lives. Wishful thinking, I'm afraid. It is a great idea, but the money behind it is so vast that control is out of reach for the common man. On this record, Mattin uses recordings from social media sources, TikTok (which, I think, is a must avoid) and Instagram, or in the words of Mattin, "a chorus of fragments from the multitude addressing psychic destabilisation and the horizon of paranoia and alienation. This plunderphonic of sounds transmitted by the global media opens the possibility of addressing what it means to be human beyond the liberal individual". My time on and for social media is limited, avoiding whatever discussion because before I know it, you're stuck communicating with people I don't know and who don't know you, and to what end? Mattin's music is partly plunderphonic, and there is something to recognise, although not for me, as this is modern pop music. It is mainly in some cut-up form, but side A has a lengthy segment of very abstract electronics. I have no idea what it is, but it sounds nice. Much of this side of the record contains bits of modern pop music, which don't mean much. Apart from a short intro, the entire B-side repeats harsh rhythms and sounds, with a slightly faster-paced beat below. It's hardly dance music, but it works pretty well. It's an exciting record and concept, but does not always work for me musically.

The New Noise
22/01/2024 / Angelo Borelli

Nel 2015 atterrava sul piatto del mio giradischi Lagos Sessions, doppio vinile frutto del materiale sonoro raccolto dal collettivo basco Billy Bao nella megalopoli nigeriana e quindi rimaneggiato e integrato dagli interventi della band in un disco alquanto gustoso. Mattin è fra i fondatori di Billy Bao e il suo ultimo lavoro, uscito per i bolognesi di Xing nell’ambito della Xong Collection, riprende un po’ la tecnica combinatoria utilizzata nel 2015, ma in maniera ancora più radicale e per molti versi randomica: il campo di ricerca stavolta è quello meno esotico ma sterminato delle nuove forme di condivisione di contenuti. Mattin riconosce nei social media una fonte di destabilizzazione e alienazione e invoca con un rito plunderfonico la collettivizzazione del disagio psichico derivante dall’esposizione alla rete. Il disco si apre con un loop che si avvolge su sé stesso sfaldandosi giro dopo giro, una specie di fase preparatoria, se non catartica, che aiuta a resettare i timpani in vista del pastiche di sample che verrà, un blob di robaccia trovata in giro sulla rete, su Instagram o Tik Tok, hip hop, rnb, filastrocche per bambini, grandi successi, da Shakira a Christina Aguilera, a volte ritoccati, spesso lasciati così come sono, frammenti giustapposti in maniera che suona totalmente casuale. Più interessante è il lato b del disco, in cui i campioni sembrano annegare in una fanghiglia appiccicosa, una brodaglia noise che sembra anch’essa un sample ma ammalorato, da cui ogni tanto fa capolino qualcosa di riconoscibile per poi inabissarsi. “Siamo nel buco del culo della Storia” dice Mattin e questa è la colonna sonora, un po’ veleno e un po’ antidoto.