Matt Weston, "Four Lies in the Eavesdrop Business"
The latest run of releases from Albany NY‚Äôs Matt Weston have been growing consistently in scope and length. After a slew of 7" releases, there was the 2019 12" EP A New Form of Crime, the LP Tell Us About Your Stupor from last year, and now this double record. Four Lies is an excellent progression, as Weston has filled the expanding formats with even more creative and unique sounds. On Four Lies his use of varied electronic treatments continues, but the integration of more of his percussive expertise makes it all the better.
Weston comes out heavy with "We Are Armed," with laser bagpipe electronics and erratic cut up drum recordings rushing to the forefront. It is extremely kinetic, full of cut and paste sound layers and clattering incidental noises throughout, but there is clear order to the chaos, as Weston shifts from tumbling drums to layered non-traditional rhythms and haunted house moods. "Celluloid Caller" has a recurring, oddly bouncy melody throughout, as processed voices and harsher noise explosions cut through a massive wall of reverb, mixing heavier moods with almost jaunty melodies.
"You Tried to Fix the Paranoia," the opening of the second disc, is a bizarre mix of gurgling electronics and sharp, chirpy outbursts. Weston presents grinding string sounds and insectoid passages with bent voices and heavy reverbs once again, resulting in an extremely alien, unnatural sounding work. The following "Solitary Vulture" is the opposite: a wide expanse punctuated by a far off pleasant tone, then watery passages of calmness. Things are all well and good until Weston decides to add in some jarring feedback stabs, however.
All of the final side is taken up by "Fear of Insomnia," which is fitting given the dramatic nature of the piece. Dramatic drums and what sounds like horns (or an approximation thereof) appear immediately within the expansive, spacious mix. Grinding low end and shimmering passages nicely blend the dark and the light elements of Weston‚Äôs sound. Eventually an untreated drum passage becomes the focus, anchoring everything in a perfect krautrock complex rhythm. Drifting, droning electronics supplement the driving beat, culminating in an intense beauty. Later on he adds just a bit of delay that throws everything off kilter, turning up the intensity and making for even more chaos as the set concludes.
I would hesitate to use the term "sprawling" to describe Four Lies, but Weston covers a lot of bases across all four sides of the album. Historically, his work covers so much ground, from jazz influenced structures to heavy electronics to rhythmic experimentation, and all of that can be found within this one release. Defying categorization, Weston channels a bit of everything: playfulness, malevolence, tone, texture, noise, melody and so much more, and manages to distill it all into one album with a virtuoso‚Äôs touch.
Samples can be found here.