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Matthieu Metzger - SelfCooking

Grego Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview

I love it when an artist decides "to hell with the world, I am going my own way!" Matthieu Metzger does that on Selfcooking (Ayler 132). It's Metzger and. . . himself, on saxophones and (?), etc in a series of compositions-improvisations that have electronic enhancement much of the time. Now that electronic part can go to greater or lesser degrees of transformation. Sometimes it sounds like Hendrix blowing up some amps, only with new electronic sax-derived sounds. Other times the music has just a shade of enhancesment. Still other times, it's sax(s) and they come across as purely themselves.

Now of course to some this is heresy. Multi-tracking, that evil thing despised by so many, may be involved. He may, god forbid, NOT be using Ableton Live so he can proudly proclaim that everything is done in real time, and oh so cool, on a laptop. Well maybe it is and maybe it isn't but mostly that "real time" deal is only "real" if you are in the audience and also, face it, half the time it's a pre-prepared playback of MIDI files with live "overdubs." Not to get snippy here, but a CD made in the studio is never gonna be live and you are kidding yourself if you think a CD is like being in a "real world." My point is this: he may or may not violate the sanctity of "live" liveness and we shouldn't care. What should matter is the music. If the music is good, fine. If it isn't, what is the difference?

Now Selfcooking, to my mind, is good music. It goes from a bizarre little march to new music sorts of things, avant freedom sorts of things and it's all interesting. And it's original. What he would do in a live performance would probably be similar and he would use electronics and software to do it. How he did in here doesn't matter to me. It's highly saxophonistic and it's electronic. And it's good. Really good.