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Mick Moss, Zurich, Switzerland, October 2015
|Genres||Gothic rock, gothic metal, dark ambient, trip hop (early)|
The End Records
Music In Stone
|Past members||Duncan Patterson|
Antimatter, a UK melancholic rock band, is the project of longtime member Mick Moss. The project was formed in 1997 by Duncan Patterson (former bassist/songwriter of Anathema) and Moss. The pair released three albums together - Saviour, Lights Out and Planetary Confinement. Shortly after the completion of Planetary Confinement, Patterson left to start another band called Íon. Moss continued and released the project’s fourth album, Leaving Eden, following with 2009’s Live@An Club, released on his own label Music In Stone. Most recently Moss has overseen a 10-year retrospective multi-disc release entitled ‘Alternative Matter’, and released the 5th Antimatter album, 'Fear Of A Unique Identity', in 2012.
The earlier Antimatter albums, Saviour and Lights Out, focused on melodic vocal lines (often by guest female vocalists), dark electronica and balanced on the borderline between gothic and trip hop. Planetary Confinement marked the start of a shift towards more of an acoustic based melancholic rock sound. Leaving Eden, with Mick Moss as the only songwriter and singer, continues in this direction and also gives electric guitars a more prominent role. The result is a heavier sounding album, with little trace of the ambient sound of early Antimatter. Recent album Fear Of A Unique Identity presents a more layered, energetic picture, mixing all of Antimatter's past textures with a New Wave feel.
- 1 1998-99: Formation
- 2 2000-02: Saviour
- 3 2002–03: Lights Out and Live@K13
- 4 2004-05: Planetary Confinement and Patterson's departure
- 5 2006-07: Leaving Eden and copyright infringement controversy
- 6 2008–10: Live@An Club and Alternative Matter
- 7 2011-13: Fear of a Unique Identity
- 8 Discography
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Without hearing each other's latest recordings, in 1998 Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss had both reached the same place musically and philosophically. Patterson had just finished recording Anathemas 'Alternative 4' album and Moss had been working on a set of demos. The similarities were striking. Moss had produced 'Saviour', 'Over Your Shoulder' and 'Angelic', which drew parallels directly to Patterson's 'Empty', 'Feel' and 'Destiny'. Both sets of recordings were dark, melodic and minimal, lyrically dealing with a discomfort with oneself and others. Patterson at the time had grown restless with Anathema, and upon hearing Moss’ demos suggested they record together. Patterson quit Anathema in 1998 and re-recorded Moss’ 3 tracks as a demo to pass to labels, under the moniker of ‘Angelica’. The demo was originally rejected by Peaceville Records as being too melodic and not leaning enough towards heavy metal. Patterson later penned and recorded a 4th track, ‘Holocaust’, for the demo. In 1999, Australian band Cryptal Darkness contacted Patterson, and during a later conversation a member of CD (who also ran the groups label) asked Patterson what he had been involved with since leaving Anathema. Patterson mailed a cassette of the demo off, and upon hearing it the label agreed to release the duo’s first album.
Signed to Icon Records, in September 2000 they entered Academy Studios, Dewsbury, as Antimatter to record their debut album Saviour. Patterson contributes the tracks "Holocaust", "God Is Coming", "Flowers" and "Going Nowhere", while Moss brings "Saviour", "Over Your Shoulder", "Psalms", "Angelic" and "The Last Laugh". Although Moss performed vocals on his original demos, Patterson has the idea to have mainly female vocals, performed by Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. Moss performs vocals on two tracks only. Instrumentation is split between Patterson and Moss.
In 2001, the album and band received "Album of the Year" and "Best Newcomer of the Year" in Psycho! magazine. Unfortunately, Antimatter’s record label distributed only a small number of copies despite demand for much more, and it soon became apparent that the label wasn’t able to manufacture and distribute copies of the album in reasonable numbers. Thus began a 12-month battle between act and label, with Icon Records holding onto the rights of Saviour despite being unable to release it. Eventually, in 2002, Icon Records gave up and handed the rights to the recording back to the band.
In 2002, Saviour finally received a worldwide release due to the efforts of labels Prophecy Productions in Europe and The End Records in North America. Later that year Patterson finances a European tour, with Antimatter joined by Patterson’s former partner from his Anathema days, Danny Cavanagh. Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor did not feature in the line-up, with lead vocals being taken by Mick Moss
Cavanagh would later briefly and controversially quit Anathema the same year with the intention of joining Antimatter, only to re-join Anathema weeks later.
In late 2002, Moss published via the internet the free EP A Dream For The Blind, featuring recordings of himself and Cavanagh rehearsing for that year's debut tour. The 5-track release came complete with artwork to be printed off by the public.
2002–03: Lights Out and Live@K13
Antimatter entered the studio in February 2003 to record their 2nd album Lights Out. Moss contributes the tracks "Everything You Know Is Wrong", "The Art Of A Soft Landing", "In Stone" and "Dream", while Patterson brings "Lights Out", "Expire", "Reality Clash" and "Terminal". The album (recorded during a month is Sun Studios Dublin, and released in June that year) marks a shift from its predecessor. Despite the presence of guest vocalists Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor, Moss now performs vocals on most of his own tracks and half of Patterson's.
In May/June 2003 Antimatter toured the West Coast of the United States with Virgin Black and Agalloch. Afterwards, Antimatter headed into Europe to perform in Greece and then into Asia, performing in Istanbul. The tour is rounded off with an appearance at a festival in Skali, Cyprus. A month later Antimatter headlined Estonia’s annual festival Hard Rock Laager in July 2003. Held in the village of Vana-Vigala, HRL is the country’s largest alternative music festival. The band was joined by Mehdi Messouci (keyboard and backing vocals) on all European dates .
In October 2003, Antimatter reconvened to Sun Studios, Dublin, to record a version of Dead Can Dance’s "Black Sun". The track is to appear on The Lotus Eaters, a 2004 double album of DCD cover versions, released by Black Lotus Records. The recording is followed by a tour of Germany with Autumnblaze.
Later that year, the track "Over Your Shoulder", from the debut album Saviour is used for soundtrack purposes in MTV’s reality TV show Sorority Life.
In December 2003, Antimatter published onto the internet the album Unreleased 98-03, featuring demos and unheard versions of songs from the first two albums. The album was made available as a free download and once again came complete with artwork.
2004-05: Planetary Confinement and Patterson's departure
In 2004, Patterson made the decision to quit Antimatter to pursue his solo project 'Ion', but not before contributing to his final album with the band, 'Planetary Confinement', an album recorded in two halves, one by Moss in England, the other by Patterson in Ireland and France. Moss’s English sessions (‘Weight of The World’, ‘Legions’, ‘Epitaph’ and ‘A Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist’) commenced on July 16 in Studio 33, Liverpool, and featured a band assembled by Moss that year (Rachel Brewster – Violins, Ste Hughes – Bass and Chris Phillips - Drums). Moss chose to forgo any guest vocalists, performing all vocal parts himself. Patterson’s sessions ('Planetary Confinement', 'Line of Fire', 'Mr White', 'Relapse' and 'Eternty Pt24') followed in December of the same year, with the vocal duties held by Amelie Festa and extra instrumentation by Mehdi Messouci, Barry Whyte, Alex Mazarguil and Micheál ó Croinín. By comparison Moss produced more organic sounding recordings while Pattersons still retained an electronic edge despite being acoustic based.
Planetary Confinement, a stark acoustic album in the face of two previous semi-electronic outings, was released in 2005, signaling Patterson's official departure from the project. With the release Patterson announced his Ion project, while Moss simultaneously announced he would continue with Antimatter and was wrapping up the writing to the 4th album, to be titled ‘Leaving Eden’.
2006-07: Leaving Eden and copyright infringement controversy
In June 2006, Moss entered Fair Trade Studios, Liverpool, to record Antimatter’s 4th album Leaving Eden. He re-assembled the band he had originally formed for his sessions for the previous album, with the addition of Danny Cavanagh.
German rapper Bushido has released his fourth studio album Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück in September 2006, with music completely sampled from the band, without permission. The rapper has sampled the songs "Epitaph" (from Planetary Confinement) and "Terminal" (from Lights Out) on his singles "Sonnenbank Flavour" and "Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück" respectively.
In late October 2006, Moss accompanied Danny Cavanagh and Leafblade on a Norwegian tour
"Leaving Eden" is released in June 2007. Moss spends the rest of the year touring the album, appearing in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Italy, Latvia and Estonia.
2008–10: Live@An Club and Alternative Matter
In April 2008 Antimatter headlined Poland’s Art Rock Festival in Poznan. Later that year, Moss instigates a union with Duncan Patterson for the purposes of performing live together under the heading of ‘An Evening Of Antimatter, Anathema and Ion Music’, bringing together both writers’ musical back catalogue into one live show. The first tour in this format is in September with Patterson and Moss touring Portugal and Spain, and uniting again for tours in Hungary, Romania, Italy, Finland, France, Poland and Latvia to round the year off.
Later that year Moss announced a fifth album was in the construction stages, as well as ‘Alternative Matter’, a 10-year anniversary retrospective set of alternate versions and demos
In 2009 Moss formed his own label, Music In Stone, whose first release was Antimatter’s ‘Live@An Club’, recorded the previous year in Athens, Greece. The album was released in April that year, coinciding with Moss and Patterson’s 3rd union tour. A month later they would headline at Germany’s annual festival Wave Gotik Treffen, one of the largest worldwide gothic subculture events.
In Autumn 2009, Turkish photographer and filmmaker Fethi Karaduman published his promo clip for Antimatter’s ‘Epitaph’ track, from 2005’s ‘Planetary Confinement’.
Around the same time, Moss began compiling ‘Alternative Matter’, a project that would take 9 months to complete. It was announced in 2010 that two versions of the album would be released, a 2-disc set digipack and a limited edition 4-disc artbook containing 100 pages of photographs and advanced liner notes by Moss, a bonus E.P. of material exorcised from the 2-disc version and a DVD containing a 30 minute documentary, Karaduman’s ‘Epitaph’ promo, and a promo for ‘Conspire’ from Leaving Eden, featuring hand made animation by Krzysztof Baran.
Moss also announced that he now had two new albums in the construction stages. ‘Alternative Matter’ was released in November 2010.[needs update]
2011-13: Fear of a Unique Identity
In 2011 the next Antimatter studio album was announced as 'Wide Awake In The Concrete Asylum', with demos being produced that year. In June Antimatter performed (by Marillion's request) at 'Marillion Weekend', in Leamington. Moss formed a full lineup for the event, consisting of past and present session musicians from Antimatter's studio history. Antimatter were asked back to perform at 'Marillion Christmas' in December, at Manchester Academy. 2012 saw Moss enter Sandhills Studios to record the next Antimatter album, now re-titled to 'Fear Of A Unique Identity'. At the same time 'Broken Smile' by The Beautified Project was released, featuring guest vocals by Moss. The single charted at Number 1 in their native Armenia. At the end of the year, on November 23, 'Fear Of A Unique Identity' was released worldwide by Prophecy Productions, entering the official German Newcomer Chart at number 6.
- Saviour (2001)
- Lights Out (2003)
- Planetary Confinement (2005)
- Leaving Eden (2007)
- Fear of a Unique Identity (2012)
- The Judas Table (2015)
- Unreleased 1998-2003 (2003)
- Alternative Matter (2010)
- Epitaph (Fethi Karaduman)
- Conspire (Krzystof Baran)
- Uniformed & Black (Mehdi Messouci & Mick Moss)