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Splintered Instruments is not an empty claim. It is the sound of acoustic components on the verge of collapse, as if spitting out something articulate with their dying breath. It is real-world, analog, dusty and broken, but still forward-looking.
Matthew Collings – the Edinburg-based composer and producer – makes his solo debut with this Fluid Audio release. He says, “Emotionally this record comes out of reckoning with the destructive forces in my life. I’ve felt my whole life as if there is an immense, violent force ready to come out of me. I wanted to finally reach it and reckon with it. Here it rears its head, filtered through melody.”
Of the album’s spilling percussion, exquisite spans of silence and its almost petroleum viscidity, Collings writes, “Very few thing in nature are truly repetitive. There is always subtle variation and imprecision. It’s a revolt against machines: precision doesn’t express anything and is pretty unnatural. Everything I play is messy, but on the border of being out of place. I use the computer for convenience, not as a principle. It is electronic only because I don’t have the hands or people to do it all at once. If I could, then I would.” Nearly all of Splintered Instruments is organic, played on acoustic instruments or sourced from physical objects and then manipulated, often considerably.
I wanted to reach into the deepest part of me and pull out the true nature of things, or at least a faithful side to them: admitting you are violent, you are a beast of nature as much as a romantic, civilised human being.”