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act 155 · cell auto mata · the devil is in the detail · cd

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tracklisting:
fallen dice, aus558, esa unit, gws hearse, huevos de oro, ign558, ish galil, sem kern, sauvée, hipsters, trisol dot grey, rip rozz, we met under concrete, trisol swap.

after six years and several releases on different labels, matthieu maire decided to cancel all activities that were executed under the celluloid mata moniker. but it wasn't his intention to end his musical activities - something just had to change. as a member of the ant family he was in contact with philipp münch (synapscape, ars moriendi and a solo artist (rorschach garden)). mata decided to exchange musical ideas with philipp and a new project was formed. a project that would include the creative output of both musicians. hence, cell auto mata was created. maybe you heard the first result on ant zen's 'daruma' compilation and maybe you wanted to get some more - well, here it is. we proudly present cell auto matas first full length release.

the first impression you might have while listening to this cd is that these are songs - not just "tracks". for instance, 'huevos de oro' or 'ish galil' are based on a 4/4 beat, melodies and even vocals - in other words they are structured like a song. but this isn't pop; the industrial and technoid influences of both members melt together and deliver music that is beyond a listener's expectations and previous listening experiences.

the cd's mood seems to be quite dark and serious at first, but as the title implies: the devil is in the detail (and behind the surface). you need more time for this record than you might initially think (also you need time to check out all the nice little photos on the cover).

those who are familiar with both of the artist's previous releases might be able to identify the musical roots of this cd. such as the 'synapscape-ish' sequencer treatments in 'gws hearse' or the 'surf-organ' on 'hipsters'. nevertheless, this cd is an original and should not be seen as 'just another collaboration'. it should be heard as the debut album that it actually is.

discography cell auto mata 10.2k3:
devil in the detail. cd. ant-zen. 2003

cell auto mata on the web: www.zone51.com/mata

reviews:

immanence.co.uk
shortly after his last release for ant-zen (the retrospective "spectrum" compilation) and somewhat surprisingly, matthieu maire announced the end of cellulöid mata and the beginning of a new project: cell auto mata - an unassumingly different moniker, but with huge implications for where he would take the sound of the act. enlisting the help of philipp münch (synapscape, ars moriendi, the rorschach garden), the duo's first outing was on ant-zen's 10th anniversary release, "daruma" with a grating, irksome, retro electro track that left me seriously doubting the future potential of the project. a few months on and we are now presented with "the devil is in the detail", the debut album of cell auto mata. from a first glace at the cover, there appears to be no great change from the aesthetic of cellulöid mata, with the cyclopean alien still present and similar azure tinted photography to 2000's "sable" album... but what a change in the music. the album opens with a few bars of slightly distorted electro rhythms, more akin to münch's rorschach garden than the heavy, grinding onslaught of cellulöid mata. that is not to say that cell auto mata are neither heavy nor aggressive - they are, but in a more experimental and inventive way. utilising distortion more judiciously, it allows them to explore a wider gamut of sound, offsetting pure synthetic tones against heavily processed sounds and samples (including recordings of a vacuum cleaner on hipsters!). the other notable change is the addition of vocals from münch. i am not the greatest admirer of his vocal work, especially his performance on cell auto mata's "daruma" contribution, but on occasion it can be effective. the vocals on "the devil is in the detail", while used sparingly, again can be a hit or a miss. the modulated, cut-up performance on heuvos de oro works extremely well, perfectly complimenting the warped piano tones and frantic beats of the track; while the hushed, "evil" vocals of ish galil sound terribly clichéd and really detract from the subtleties of the track's lush soundscapes and layered guitars. for the most part, though, the music is allowed to speak for itself. aside from a few "filler" tracks of non-stop rhythm, the album proves to be a winner. bringing traditional structures to the music with definite movements and pop hooks, it gives the music real compositional power to truly engage the listener and never let their attentions drift, even on more drone-orientated pieces such as ign558. it is at its most effective, though, when applied to the more electro tracks, such as trisol dot grey with its soaring, melodic pads or the undoubted standout track of the album, hipsters. evoking the fun-fair landscape of the cover art with its organ opening, it then sweeps through passages of razor-sharp electro and portamentoed, sci-fi choruses to create a genuinely fun and uplifting track. altogether a different beast for both artists involved in this project, it nevertheless proves to be a step forward in the right direction for both of them - away from simple rhythmics or sheer electro anachronism. cell auto mata are the latest in, what will hopefully be, a long line of artists effecting a renaissance in the ant-zen label, removing it from the stagnation that it suffered last year and taking it towards new, innovative and exciting reaches of music. (gavin lees)

club debil
ziemlich interessantes album, dieses gemeinschaftswerk von matthieu maire und philipp münch (synapscape, ars moriendi). ersterer ist manchem vielleicht mit seinem projekt celluloid mata ein begriff, mit dem er schon platten bei unterschiedlichsten labels veröffentlichte. jetzt hat sich maire jedoch entschlossen, celluloid mata einzustampfen und dafür vorliegende kollaboration namens cell auto mata ins leben gerufen. soviel also zum informativen teil (schön, wenn auf der website auch mal was zu den künstlern steht.). ohne kenntnis von celluloid mata ist es natürlich schwierig, etwas vergleichendes bzw. zur musikalischen entwicklung des projektmachers zu sagen. auf jeden fall merkt der hörer schnell, dass hier kein anfänger am werke ist. die grundzutaten, mehrschichtig strukturierte rhythmen, klangfetzen, synthieflächen und kleinste melodien, sind nichts neues, doch das was daraus zu zusammengeschraubt wurde, weiß zu überzeugen. der erste teil des werkes donnert so los, dass cell auto mata sich problemlos in ein tekkno-set integrieren ließen. dabei vermeiden es die macher jedoch, allzu gradlinig und berechenbar zu sein, sondern erfreuen mit noisig-schrägen klängen. titel 5, "huevos de oro" beginnt ebenso heftig, mit gelegentlichen prodigy-einsprengseln, um zwischenzeitlich in richtung electro abzukippen, die art, wie sie in der schwarzen szene betanzt wird. weiter geht es fast ambient und plötzlich schauen skinny puppy vorbei - mit anderen worten, wenn man es nicht besser wüsste, hätte man "ish galil" auch auf einer neueren veröffentlichung der kanadier vermuten können. um jetzt nicht alle stile und eindrücke aufzuzählen, sei nur noch erwähnt, dass auch der rest des albums keine "klare linie" hat, was jedoch nicht abwertend gemeint ist. cell auto mata decken ein recht breites spektrum technoider/industrieller klangschöpfungen ab, was das erstlingswerk "the devil is in the detail" zu einem recht abwechslungsreichen hörvergnügen macht. bei "hipsters" lassen maire und münch sogar ein wenig humor durchblicken und setzen eine surf-orgel ein, die ein munteres melodiechen drauflos spielt. langeweile kommt also nicht auf. zu gute zu halten ist den beiden herren auch, dass sie ihre stücke nicht sinnlos in die länge ziehen, wie das viele kollegen tun. wer eins übrig hat, der kann für cell auto mata durchaus ein ohr riskieren.

phosphor
one of ant-zen's new projects is called cell auto mata. this project is the brainchild of matthieu maire, who is known for his musical activities under the banner celluloid mata. he ended these activities and started to work together with philip münch, who was involved in bands such as synapscape, ars moriendi and rorschach garden. the both of them come up with something new and refreshing. cell auto mata's debut album features 14 tracks with harsh beats, changing rhythms and occasional vocals. the musical concept is hard to pigeonhole. song-like structures have been combined with industrial frequencies. heavy rhythms and pounding beats go together with catchy synths. the music is not easy digestible in general. the rhythms are fast and the sounds harsh, as if rhythm boxes got overworked and need a break. the music is restless and turbulent. even the more melodic song ign558 can not change this impression. for those that do not know them already from the compilation daruma, this album might come as a surprise, because it is not a typical release one would expect from this duo, knowing their musical history.

black
die letztes jahr erschiene "spectrum" retrospektive von celluloid mata, war nun doch ein abschied vom eigentümlich-brillanten projekt. matthieu maire wollte nicht mehr so weiter machen. aber wie heißt es so schön, celluloid mata ist tot, lang lebe celluloid mata. um einfach mal von vorn anzufangen, tat er sich mit philip münch von synapscape zusammen und erfand sich neu. das debüt der beiden ist dann auch ein ganz, ganz feine sache geworden. repetitive, weiche analogelektronik, melodiöse umverpackung, getragene, melancholisierte ambientstimmungen bilden die basis. darauf werden computerspielesounds, 4/4 techno und synthiepop geschichtet, verdreht, zersplittert und in schöne manchmal schon songs zu nennende tracks verpackt. und das habe ich jetzt nicht nur im promotext gelesen, diese qualität springt dich sofort an. philip münchs erfahrung mit seinem the rorschach garden projekt scheint besonders bei den vereinzelten vocals zwischen roboter minimal elektronik und dive rauhigkeit durch, sowie den noveau retro sounds, wobei maires stärke in den sich subtil verändernden rhythmen und elastischen anschwellen von stimmungen zu liegen scheint. so richtig auseinander dividieren sollte man beide komponenten des cell auto mata sounds sowieso nicht, glücklicherweise viel zu homogen und nahtlos ist die symbiose. was besonders schön ist, das man nicht nur technoid, noisig und electro bleibt, sondern auch die spitzenidee hatte surforgeln, breakbeats und bearbeitete gitarren mit einzubaün. gerade solche sachen bringen den nötigen fun zu den teilweise gut abrockenden stücken. dieser substanzgewinn macht den reiz aus. man kann sich in die songs verbeissen, die vielschichtigkeit geniessen, die sie zu etwas anderen ohrwürmern macht. so stelle ich mir industrial-pop vor. (till)

wreck this mess
on se souvient des premiers pas de mathieu maire avec son projet celluloïd mata sur noise museum. suite au naufrage de cette structure, il s'était rapproché d'ant-zen pour continuer cette aventure. stefan alt l'ayant également aidé pour monter vacuum recordings afin de mettre en valeur ses shared works ponctués de beats acérés, de textures synthétiques, d'aigus crispants et de breaks survoltés. plusieurs albums, maxis et remixes (entre autre par electronicat, elektroplasma, imminent starvation, matt wand de stock, hausen & walkman, james plotkin et dj olive) témoignent de son activité à laquelle il a décidé de donner une nouvelle impulsion. d'oŁ le changement de nom qui marque sa collaboration avec philipp münch (synapscape, ars moriendi) et quelques autres intervenants. ce partenariat laissant une plus grande place aux mélodies, samples et inserts vocaux sans pour autant gommer la patine techno-indus qui caractérisait les opus antérieurs. (ld)

chain d.l.k.
exciting alliance between matthieu maire (formerly celluloid mata) and philipp münch (synapscape/ars moriendi/trg). a few familiar elements of both musicians' other efforts can be found in this endeavor. however, this is definitely a new and exciting direction for the both of them, focusing more on composition and structure than either has done in any of their previous incarnations. a surfeit of sounds and experiences are laced throughout these fourteen adventurous tracks. the disc begins with a somewhat ominous feel on the opening track, "fallen dice", but soon breaks into a much more accessible, infectious tone. "gws hearse" employs some familiar sequencing with an added kick. "huevos de oro" blends interesting vocal manipulation with oddly transmuted instrumentation over hyperkinetic beats to create a highly attention-grabbing mix. the creative sampling and catchy sounds of "hipsters" demands repeat listens. the guitar work on "ish galil" is an interesting departure for this pair, known more for their work with rhythms and synths. "rip rozz" once again calls upon münch's vocals to deliver a good, solid punch. this disc is a pleasant diversion, and certainly unique among the crop of rhythm-oriented releases that have come to define ant-zen over the past couple of years. slightly disorienting at first, but ultimately a ride worth lining up for again and again - highly recommended! (ian hall)

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