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Matmos's Two-Decade Experimental Soundtrack


In honor of their recent anniversary, we asked Drew Daniel and Martin “M.C.” Schmidt to create a playlist that defines their relationship.

Pictured: Martin and Drew with cow uterus from 2008

Daniel and Schmidt, the duo behind avant-garde electronic act Matmos, met two decades ago, and the artistic and romantic partners have been reading each other's minds ever since. But what do these iconoclasts listen to themselves?

"It was actually really hard to pick just seven songs that collectively summarize our 20 years of making music together and being a couple," says Daniel. "Consider this the first seven of hundreds more."

PIERRE HENRY, "Variations for a Door and a Sigh" (1970) "When we first met, we bonded over this piece of musique concrete built entirely out of, duh, the noise of a door and a sigh. It's still a touchstone for anyone who loves to cut up sound."

GLEN GRAY AND THE CASA LOMA ORCHESTRA, "Smoke Rings" (1937) "M.C. put this on a cassette I listened to over and over while I was away at Oxford getting a second B.A., when our relationship was long-distance. It still makes us slow dance."

ETANT DONNES, "Bleu" (1993) "Sultry, tactile audio collages of field recordings of weather and church bells, complete with poetry whispered in French (by two brothers!)? Let's just say that makes for a very good soundtrack for more intimate moments."

BOB CREWE GENERATION, "Barbarella" (from the Barbarella original soundtrack recording) (1968) "We were brought together in part by a shared love of graphic design, fashion, and the '60s go-go era in music. This song's lyrics and production feel like a perfect distillation of swirling sci-fi and sexual revolution."

BJORK, "Alarm Call" (1998) "Our first song with Bjork, before things quickly snowballed into an extensive globetrotting collaboration that lasted for years (and made my Ph.D. take a lot longer to complete). She's a genius, and we were honored to help out."

THE PUPPIES, "B.I.N.G.O." (1996) "When M.C. and I are DJ-ing a party and want to make people go off, we play this hyperactive cut from a novelty record of Miami booty bass for children. People go crazy when it drops."

NINA SIMONE, "Wild Is the Wind" (1966) / DAVID BOWIE, "Wild Is the Wind" (1976) "I've been surreptitiously building Matmos songs out of the chords in this composition lately. We recently argued about which version is better, and after 20 years of repeat play, we're still not sick of either."

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