Mattin is a Basque artist who works with noise and improvisation, and addresses the social and economic structures of experimental music production through live performance, recordings and writing. Using a conceptual approach, he aims to question the nature and parameters of improvisation, specifically the relationship between the idea of 'freedom' and constant innovation that it traditionally implies, and the established conventions of improvisation as a genre. Mattin’s exploration of sound is rooted in contrast, testing the oppositions between noise and silence, between extreme high and low volumes, and between the digital and physical sounds of the computer.
He considers improvisation not only as an interaction between musicians and instruments, but as a situation involving all the elements that constitute a concert, including the audience and the social and architectural space. He tries to expose the stereotypical relation between active performer and passive audience, producing a sense of alienation that disturbs this relationship.
Mattin uses the laptop primarily to create simple and powerful feedback, but also uses improv and fluxus-like techniques, scraping and sawing the case of his laptop with a small metal file, physically attacking the computer, sometimes leaving the machine switched off, other times using just the hard drive to produce noise, or the cd writer. Mattin plays solo, but more often collaborates with electroacoustic improvisers. He frequently works with improv artists playing traditional instruments such as Radu Malfatti
and Eddie Prévost
. He has recently developed an interest in the use of free software for improvisation, particulary for the egalitarian, co-operative approaches it engenders.
Mattin studied visual arts and art history in London, and he is also a filmmaker. He makes short, silent films that are politically engaged, the 2004 short Bilbo Bukatua
, for example, deals with the problem of gentrification in Bilbao, the largest city in Basque Country. Mattin is also a theorist, and has written extensively about improvisation, free software and Anti-copyright. He runs the experimental record label W.M.O./r, and the netlabel Desetxea. Mattin has released over 70 records on labels around the world, many of which he published under the no-licence of Anti-copyright.
The first official Mattin release was a collaboration with Rosy Parlane
in 2002, which was also the first official (cat. No. 5) release on his label, W.M.O./r. Other notable releases include recording of a free improv session with Norwiegen noise artist Lasse Marhaug
and others called The Seedy R
on a 2006 solo untitled album on Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, a New Zealand label run by Campbell Kneale
aka Birchville Cat Motel. In 2007, Mattin released a collaboraton with Taku Unami
on Hibari Records in Japan.
Mattin is a member of the Basque based group Billy Bao, a garage punk band made of a Nigerian expat vocalist, Mattin, and another Spaniard. He’s part of a duo, NMM, or No More Music at The Service of Capital, with Lucio Capece
, and Sakada
, formed in 2001 with Eddie Prévost
and Rosy Parlane
. Other projects include: La Grieta with Josetxo Anitua, Josetxo Grieta and Deflag Haemorrhage/Haien Kontra
He has collaborated with an extensive list of artists. The long list includes Oren Ambarchi, Tony Conrad, Radu Malfatti, Matthew Bower, Taku Sugimoto, Yasuo Totsuka, Axel Dörner, Werner Dafeldecker, Masafumi Ezaki, Kaffe Matthews, John Butcher, Matt Davies, Keith Rowe and Philip Best.
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