While not much time has elapsed since his last full length album, Matt Weston has created another masterwork of unconventional electronics, bizarre found sounds, and some of his idiosyncratic drum work. Compared to last year's This is Your Rosemont Horizon, this feels a bit darker and bleaker, amidst the fragmented electronics and snatches of melody. Regardless of the downer mood, it is another brilliantly unique piece of music that sounds like no one else but Matt Weston.
The title, A New Form of Crime is probably an acknowledgment of Weston's unconventional means of recording source material for this album.Recordings collected over a 16 year period were collected in a variety of locations chosen for their acoustics, many of which being sports arenas and concert buildings.Considering access to these may not have been fully approved by the right people, there is a certain deviant edge added to the creation of the four songs here.
The manifestation of this not necessarily legal behavior on Weston's part is an excellent sense of space and depth to these compositions.Although these recordings are treated and processed quite heavily, the environments do shine through, such as the massive echo and open space used on "Samidoun" and harrowing expansive passages of the appropriately titled "We Want You to Panic."There are some almost normal sounding guitar and drum passages on the all-too-brief "Stopping is Believing," but the spaciousness of the recordings gives a whole additional layer.
For another conceptual piece, the aforementioned "We Want You to Panic" features an orchestra of cars driving over a rural New York bridge, "conducted" by Weston via headlights.The passing of cars gives a nicerhythmic counterpoint to the scattershot electronics.Within that he brings in dense walls of processed conversations, cut up and bent tones, and the occasionally jarring outburst of electronics.Even within this dizzying, fragmented chaos there are some almost pleasant bells snuck into the mix, giving some inviting moments in an otherwise imposing work.
Weston does this a few other times throughout A New Form of Crime, such as the deeply submerged string melodies of "Samidoun" that later lurks amidst the insect-like electronic bursts and cut up mayhem he creates.The guitar segments of "Stopping is Believing" also have a traditionally musical structure to them as well.Album closer "Under the Rifle Sights of Snipers" features him going for the more chaotic elements of his arsenal.Echoed outbursts and metallic rhythms skitter about, with unexpected harsh outbursts here and there.With some jazzy horn-like outbursts and weird voices, it is certainly unpleasant at times, but in the best of ways.
With the overall sinister vibe, carrying over to the more monochromatic cover art (when compared to his previous releases), and the song titles, there is a sinister, angry feel to A New Form of Crime.Surely a reflection of the world around him, Matt Weston channels this darkness into captured spaces, unconventional electronics, and his omnipresent idiosyncratic drumming.It is a frenzied, noisy bit of unusual, but amazing work that continues Weston‚Äôs tradition of experimental work.