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Matmos’s Ultimate Care II

Cover of Matmos’s Ultimate Care II (Thrill Jockey, 2016).

SINCE THE LATE ’90s, the electronic duo Matmos have brought together musique concrète and dance music in singular, arch fashion, crafting ebullient tracks from audio samples that frequently exhibit a penchant, descended from industrial music, for grisliness: Materials they’ve wired or otherwise manipulated to produce sound include a human skull, a goat spine, a cow uterus, and the neural tissue of a crayfish. On Ultimate Care II (Thrill Jockey), released in February, they have narrowed their scope to a Oulipian degree, deriving all audio from exactly one, notably nonbiological, component: the titular Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine, located in the basement of the Baltimore home shared by band members Drew Daniel and M. C. Schmidt. To produce the album’s single track, which spans thirty-eight minutes (the length of the machine’s wash cycle as well as that of the average

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