Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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MATA: Archipel{o}gos

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Artist: MATA (@)
Title: Archipel{o}gos
Format: CD + Download
Label: ONLY FUCKING NOISE records
Rated: *****
The trio called MATA, consisting of Alessandro Bracalente (Electronics, Guitar, Vocals), Emanuele Sagripanti (Drums, Electronics), Mauro Mezzabotta (Bass, Synth) created a raw, dark and aggressive eight tracks album, impressively recorded/mixed by Manuel Kopf and mastered by Eraldo Bernocchi. It has a length of 40 minutes, sticking with a very conclusive artistic/compositional concept and a defined, crystal clear overall sound throughout the whole record.
"Archipel{o}gos" is MATA’s second release (October 4, 2019), following their first EP named "ATAM" (2017). The musical language and expression of the trio, which was introduced with the EP, got even more concretised, much harsher and darker in style and more international in communication (from Italian to English chant).

If Sepultura’s album "Roots" could be translated into industrial/electronic/noise rock music, "Archipel{o}gos" could be its match in regards of harsh spirit, raw power and percussive intensity.

Skillfully and artistically composed, arranged and produced, with a strong emphasis on drum sounds and rhythms. The bass drum – partially acoustic, partially electronic – is placed as the centerpiece of the album: carefully sound processed and delicately sustained by electro-percussive sound constructions and noise, and rounded-off with sparse, yet all the more piercing and cleverly put vocal parts, low hums and distorted guitars.
The trio set stark contrasts throughout the whole album (for example: compare "A Maltitude" with "What’s your Cover?"): from rampant energies such as big earthshaking bass drum stomps and strong distortions to the finest particles of sound such as fragile and minimal pulses, noises, chirps and hisses – everything is carefully put in order and well-defined in sound. Not to forget other tracks such as "M&D", "Underwater", "In The Pool" and "The Block" which unite these contrasts and dynamics as compositional entities.

Sometimes, I felt like listening to some kind of percussive "Mandelbrot Fractal Zoom" melting into an electronic soundscape extravaganza, then again it felt like being catapulted into a hammering steel machine which is creating some kind of strong, tribal drum tremors.
The musicians and engineers put so much love for details into drum sounds and into the sound production that it deserves a 5-star rating from my side. The devil always lies in the details, and it's obvious that they all put a lot of focus on exactly those. This takes time, passion and dedication and the result is truly impressive.

Introducing the album with "Message no.1" and to exit it with "Message no. 29" was a smart move to get to the heart of the album's content from the start and to top it off with an extra shot of raw, dark brutality. My tip for a first listen to catch an impression of the album’s spirit: "A Multitude".

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