Mix raw anger, hopelessness, war, the media/commercial televsion, L.A sterotypes, sex, drugs, and violence into one loose experimental electronic album and there you get the vulgar and abrasive album I call Litter (margin of error +/-3.1%). Litter was written and recorded in 3 months. These songs were fueled by rage, confusion and discontent. The urgency of the material led to one chaoic and angry album. As opposed to many electronic acts who at the time, were experimenting in cute dance music, I felt my electonica had to be ridged and unforgiving. I made a point to shatter beats and leave grooves hanging. I didn't want to satisfy the common length for dance music rhythms and I wanted to expose the filth that I saw around me with rusted music. I didn't hold my words back and dove into some of the darkest lyrical content that I have ever put to pen.
Aux 78's latest release exudes moody electronica 1/23/04
By E. Saucedo
In Aux 78's last release, "The Mystery 909," Aux 78 (aka local artist Nicholas Matta) created forlorn shrouds of sound and mood driven to a large degree by traditional instruments, and in doing so painted aural portraits of distant landscapes blasted by the ravages of war and storms. The effect was a largely instrumental work that was stunning in the way that an angry sea at high tide or a thermonuclear detonation is stunning.
"Litter," Aux 78's latest release, is not "Mystery."
With "Litter", Matta takes the listener down a radically different path, where the guitar has been eschewed in favor of the keyboard and computer. "Litter" is heavy on the electronica, and the themes are angry and political. "Litter" is a hard, dark welcome to Matta's brave new world, where the ethos of the current Bush administration seemingly collide with the sound and vision of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner," a world where Rick Deckard now works for the Department of Homeland Security.
With a computerized sound driven by pulsing, techno/industrial beats, it is easy to picture oneself on the set of "Blade Runner" or any other dystopian sci-fi film. There are also more spoken lyrics incorporated into the music, though most which is said is fed through a synthesizer and stripped of its organic roots, and in the end becomes another component of the machine. This removal of the human element may be the central theme of "Litter", but it is also what keeps an OK album from being a great album.
First track "Welcoming Papa's Gag" begins with simple percussion beats that sound more like the clacking of fingers on a computer keyboard before the voice-over begins. Soon, the lyrics drive the beat more than the percussion, and set the tempo for the rest of the song. "Welcoming" starts out as something very akin to early '90s industrial music, but suffers from its long, drawn-out ending that never seems to end.
"Man Whore," the second track, is much more fun, and picks up speed immediately. This one could easily have been the most danceable song on the album before it too falls prey to a muddled ending, liberally sprinkled with the contents of a computer composer's bag of tricks.
In fact, most of "Litter" feels less like a cohesive album than an experimental work. "Mystery's" success came from Matta's ability to sculpt a world of dark skies, but one that nonetheless retained its humanity, complete with the entire range of emotion that the human creature possesses. "Litter" is the embodiment of the machine, full of loud, angry synth sounds that jump out of nowhere and then depart just as suddenly, droning loops of static and engine roars, and artfully inarticulate political context. There is an acoustic tune thrown in (track 6, Bling Sting), but its overt anger neutralizes whatever sunshine may be found in its folky strumming.
The end result of all this grinding of gears and circuit boards is an album with a tech-noirish but disjointed and paranoid feel. "Litter" may not stand on par with Matta's other work, but is definitely proof of his ability to manipulate sound to produce mood, and even scare the listener a bit when necessary
released November 8, 2003
Peformed and Produced by Aux.78
Recorded at The Mystery 909 Recording Facility
El Paso, TX USA
N.Matta. Guitars, bass, keyboards and synths, electronics, drums, vocals, percussion, flute, original sampling, programming, accordian, trumpet, upright bass, turntables.
all rights reserved