Photo: Bryony McIntyre


We still labour under base artist/audience hierarchies established during the Renaissance: aren’t there other ways of doing things? (Because for example, would you be happy today with Renaissance level dental care, voting rights or sewage infrastructure?) Taking a scalpel to the relationship between performer and audience: cutting something out to see what’s left, a drastic subtraction and shift of emphasis.

Mattin is a provocative Basque improviser, noise artist and (increasingly) polemical agitator: as likely to set up clear-minded and confrontational processes as to generate any sound at all. Sometimes Mattin gets a hard time from conservatives within experimental music, mostly because they don’t realise their own conformist conservatism. We hereby submit that art shouldn’t make you happy (which implies pleasure and a relaxed, wilful acceptance), nor should it be easy to accept based on previous experience; it should be the exact opposite. The point of art is to resist the dominant situation and to confront things; not for what they can be exchanged for in return for pleasure, but as they really are. We think that he’s working hard at testing the implicit, established but most often objectionable taste-based, ethical, political (etc.) assumptions of music.  It’s a brave approach, fraught with the potential for ‘failure’ in traditional terms and totally unpredictable; it’s both exciting and necessary.

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