Music For Aluminum Corn

Matt Robidoux

Crash Symbols, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


San Francisco artist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Robidoux is well versed in composing, improvising and playing atypical noise makers. Believe it or not, as implied by the title, the main tool here is corn synth, where two “ears of corn” sculptures cast in aluminum fuel these 11 oddly charming songs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“flute forest” opens the listen with Mitch Stahlmann and Michelle Lee’s manipulated flute ambience that benefits much from Robidoux’s tweaking of atmosphere that’s atypically pretty. “escalator from dreamworld” then glimmers with a bright, cinematic quality where Robidoux immediately makes an impression with the electronic tinkering and creative synth backdrop.

Moving towards the middle, “corn straw ball” resembles field recordings that are uniquely therapeutic, almost sci-fi friendly, but it’s the busier, brass-fueled “green corn moongreen corn moon” that will make anyone a fan. In attendance are Carrie Ford DeCuzno (french horn), Cole Pulice (alto sax), José Fernando Solares (alto sax), Stahlmann (flute), Lee (flute), and Jordan Glenn (drums) for the precisely layered, jazz nods that are melodic, emotive and, on occasion, exploratory thanks to Rodidoux’s presence.

Arriving near the end, the thickly layered “cobwork” enlists Del Sol Quartet, i.e. Sam Weiser, Benjamin Kreith, Charlton Lee and Kathyrn Bates on strings for the hazy and reflective tone, and “precita morning” exits with the flutes, brass and drums meeting at a very harmonic, mesmerizing intersection.

In addition to playing corn synth, which was modeled after the Buchla 158 synthesizer used at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, Robidoux also handles fretless bass, guitars and xylophone. The resulting music is entirely unclassifiable, residing somewhere around experimental and avant-garde, and his very meticulous movement and touch upon the corn synth steers the pitch, velocity and duration with truly fascinating results.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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