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M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel at Pitchfork Music Festival 2006
M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel at Pitchfork Music Festival 2006
Background information
OriginSan Francisco, U.S.
Years active1995–present
MembersM.C. Schmidt
Drew Daniel
WebsiteOfficial Site

Matmos is an experimental electronic music duo formed in San Francisco and currently based in Baltimore. M. C. (Martin) Schmidt and Drew Daniel are the core members, but they frequently include other artists on their records and in their performances, including notably J Lesser. Apart from releasing twelve full-length studio albums and numerous collaborative works, Matmos is also well known for their collaboration with Icelandic singer and musician Björk, both on studio recordings and live tours. After being signed to Matador Records for nine years, Matmos signed with Thrill Jockey in 2012.[1] The name Matmos refers to the seething lake of evil slime beneath the city Sogo in the 1968 film Barbarella.[2]

Notable work[edit]

In 1998, Matmos remixed the Björk single "Alarm Call". Subsequently, the duo worked with Björk on her albums Vespertine (2001) and Medúlla (2004), as well as the Vespertine and Greatest Hits tours. In November 2004, Matmos spent 97 hours in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as artists-in-residence, performing music with friends, musical guests and onlookers. The live album Work, Work, Work, essentially a "best of" collection of the session, was released as a free download from their website.

Matmos gained notoriety for their use of unconventional samples including "freshly cut hair" and "the amplified neural activity of crayfish" on their first album[3] and "recorded the snips, clicks, snaps, and squelches of various surgical procedures, then nipped and tucked them into seven remarkably accessible, melodic pieces of experimental techno" for their album A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure.[4]

In 2011, Matmos participated in a programmed evening of events with the visual arts organisation Auto Italia South East. The event was produced in collaboration with record label Upset The Rhythm and included contributions from experimental electronic musicians Jon Wiese and Birds of Delay. Matmos have since collaborated with a large number of visual artists and arts organisations, including Cafe Oto and Metal.[5][6]

In 2015, Matmos appeared in the documentary Soundhunters directed by Beryl Koltz and broadcast on the Franco-German channel arte as well as on many channels abroad.[7]

In September 2023, the duo announced their forthcoming album Return to Archive, marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Smithsonian Folkways label, with a three-hour free concert at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. in which they remixed field recordings from the label's catalogue in octophonic sound.[8]

Personal lives[edit]

Schmidt and Daniel are a couple.[9]

Daniel received a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley with a dissertation on the literary cult of melancholy directed by Janet Adelman. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of English at Johns Hopkins University.[10] This brought the band to relocate from San Francisco to Baltimore in August 2007. Daniel also has a personal dance music project, the Soft Pink Truth. He is a contributing writer to the online music magazine Pitchfork, and has written the 33 1/3 book on Throbbing Gristle's 1979 album 20 Jazz Funk Greats as well as two books of literary criticism.[10]

Schmidt formerly worked as a teacher in the New Genres Department at the San Francisco Art Institute, and is now a professor of music technology at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute and the president of the High Zero Foundation, which organizes Baltimore's annual High Zero festival of improvised music.[11]

Both Schmidt and Daniel appeared in the Sagan music film Unseen Forces by Ryan Junell.



Matmos albums
Year Album details
1997 Matmos
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Vague Terrain
1998 Quasi-Objects
  • Released: June 16, 1998
  • Label: Vague Terrain
1999 The West
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Deluxe
2001 A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure[12]
  • Released: March 13, 2001
  • Label: Matador
2003 The Civil War[13]
  • Released: September 23, 2003
  • Label: Matador
2006 The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast[12]
  • Released: May 9, 2006
  • Label: Matador
2008 Supreme Balloon
  • Released: May 6, 2008
  • Label: Matador
2010 Treasure State[14] (with So Percussion)
2013 The Marriage of True Minds[12]
2016 Ultimate Care II
  • Released: February 19, 2016
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
2019 Plastic Anniversary[15]
  • Released: March 15, 2019
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
2020 The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form[16]
  • Released: August 21, 2020
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
2022 Regards/Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer
  • Released: May 20, 2022
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
2023 Return to Archive


Limited edition[edit]


  1. ^ announcement on the official website (July 20, 2012)
  2. ^ "Album: Matmos". The Independent. 2013-10-11. Archived from the original on 2022-05-12. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  3. ^ Cooper, Sean (2008). "Matmos",
  4. ^ Phares, Heather (2008). "A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure",
  5. ^ Budzinski, Nathan. "Matmos Live At Auto Italia - The Wire". The Wire Magazine - Adventures In Modern Music. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  6. ^ Davis, Nicola (16 June 2015). "Digital park delivers talking trees and a fishy monster in the pond". The Observer. Retrieved 18 August 2015 – via
  7. ^ Soundhunters, retrieved 2019-07-17
  8. ^ "Matmos Plays the Sounds of Folkways Records". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden | Smithsonian. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  9. ^ "BUTT • Matmos".
  10. ^ a b "Drew Daniel". English, Johns Hopkins University. 3 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Faculty: Martin Schmidt". Peabody Institute. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  12. ^ a b c "Matmos Celebrate Their 25th Anniversary: An Interview with Drew Daniel". PopMatters. 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  13. ^ "Music Review: Matmos - The Civil War". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  14. ^ "How Matmos and Sō Percussion compose with cacti". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  15. ^ "Matmos Plastic Anniversary". Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  16. ^ Torres, Eric (July 7, 2020). "Matmos Announce New Album The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  17. ^ "'Return to Archive' Marks Legendary Electronic Music Duo Matmos's Entry Into the Folkways Catalog". Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. September 6, 2023. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  18. ^ Matmos - Very Large Green Triangles. Thrill Jockey Records. 11 October 2012 – via Vimeo.
  19. ^ "Matmos's Ganzfeld EP: electronica meets ESP". Boing Boing. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  20. ^ Metason. "Matmos". ArtistInfo.
  21. ^ "Matmos & The Disco Yahtzee Empire - I Want Snowden / Sheremetyevo Breakdown Blues". Discogs.

External links[edit]