John Matthias is a musician, composer and academic who has released albums via Accidental, Ninja Tune, Nonclassical, Village Green and collaborated with artists including Radiohead and Coldcut. In 2008 he won the UK PRS Foundation New Music Award (The 'Turner Prize' for music) with Jane Grant and Nick Ryan for the development of a huge sonic installation entitled 'The Fragmented Orchestra’. He is Associate Professor in Sonic Arts at Plymouth University.
Jay Auborn is a producer and musician based in south west England - an art school dropout that fell in love with the sampler. Much of his previous work is self-released under aliases exploring the boundaries between sound art and music. ‘Race to Zero’ marks his debut for Village Green, and the continuation of a creative partnership with John Matthias. Jay currently manages a recording studio for dBs Music.
The duo recently soundtracked a film about Bristol’s Broadmead shopping centre by Stanley Donwood and Mat Consume and co-wrote additional music for the film ‘Poor Boy’ directed by Robert Scott Wildes which was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York 2016.
‘Race To Zero’ is the new album by musician and composer John Matthias and producer, musician and composer Jay Auborn.
The album’s starting point was a series of acoustic improvisations recorded in a variety oflocations, from a 700 year old chapel in the Devon countryside to a basement studio in Reykjavík, Iceland. In an attempt to create a fractured sense of space reflective of the digital condition, the duo found themselves working within a place that could only exist in the digital landscape.
By crushing the recordings through a hundred different virtual rooms of reverb and other chaotic digital processes; they collided, soared and splintered into sweeping new rhythms, melodies and drones.
The outcome is a unique landscape that blurs the line between the virtual and physical worlds.
The sweeping sonic explorations of 'Pretoria', from John Matthias and Jay Auborn's 2017 album 'Race To Zero', are reinterpreted on this four-track remix EP due for release on March 2nd 2018. Recent Village Green signing Moon Gangs takes the reins first, delivering a thunderous take on the original's faster-paced second half. Typically of the artist, the track builds and builds in intensity, climaxing with evocative, layered synths. Bristol's CUTS strip back the elements for a much darker reworking. A single, repeating piano note echoes into open space alongside the original's violins before clattering percussion and synths enter the mix for the most foreboding turn of the release. Listen below.
Closing the EP, John Cummings, formerly of Mogwai, also bases his reinterpretation around the original's piano. But where CUTS leans on moody darkness, Cummings' take is more upbeat, courtesy of a driving four to the floor kick and fidgety, high-pitched piano.