A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure


Matador Records, 2001


REVIEW BY: Cory Galliher


M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel are geniuses. Well, maybe they're lunatics. Perhaps it's a little of both. Either way, the duo behind Matmos produces a sound unlike any you're likely to hear elsewhere.

Take this album, for instance. A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure consists of seven tracks produced almost entirely from recordings of medical procedures. Astoundingly, it's not bad. This is a concept album, make no mistake, but the music stands up for itself.

The first track, "Lipostudio...And So On," uses sounds recorded during a liposuction procedure; it's bizarre, but surprisingly enjoyable overall. Immediately following is a song produced from the noise of a laser device used during eye surgery, entitled "L.A.S.I.K.," which starts as a droning buzz and gradually evolves into a fast-paced electronic beat.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Spondee" utilizes a recording used to teach enunciation to the hearing impaired to pump out a funky jazz tune. This is one of the album's highlights; it's not unlike something you'd expect to hear in a club, as the careful pronunciation of an audiologist is twisted into impromptu lyrics. "Ur Tchun Tan Tse Qi" consists of sounds used during a pre-acupuncture procedure involving the measuring of the galvanic response of one's skin. This ends up sounding a bit too similar to "L.A.S.I.K" and results in the two tracks becoming fairly forgettable.

"For Felix (And All The Rats)" is considered by many fans to be the most powerful track on this album; the duo recorded it after the death of their rat Felix by plucking and using a violin bow on the bars of the rat's cage. It's a moving, ethereal song, unlike any other to be found on this album, and the sentimental value to the artists alone helps to recommend it. As far as its musical qualities go, however, it pales in comparison to the earlier tracks.

Likewise with "Memento Mori," which was produced from recordings of human skull, goat spine, connective tissue, and artificial teeth -- and while the concept used for the song is intriguing, it didn't really work out in the end, sounding a bit dull. The album ends on a high note with "California Rhinoplasty," which consists of recordings from three plastic surgeries; a rhinoplasty, forehead lift, and chin implant, along with a nose whistle. This is a memorable, varied tune, with portions of funk, soul, and jazz; this variety recommends it as the album's best track.

If you're new to the artist, I can safely recommend A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure as a great introduction to their unique sound. You're not really going to find this anywhere else.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Cory Galliher and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Matador Records, and is used for informational purposes only.