“Thank you for coming through a tropical storm to see us,” said Matmos‘ Drew Daniel, saluting the crowd late Saturday night at the Stone. A day’s worth of rain and an evening’s worth of drizzle (together responsible for the death or postponement of the Art Parade, the East Village Radio Music Festival, the U.S. Open, the Mets game, and nearly every other damn thing in the entire city) proved no match for the itchy fanboy draw of Daniel and Martin Schmidt. By 10:05pm, the show was sold out.
This being New York, where experimental musicians have no shortage of friends, the duo devoted the second of the evening’s sets to collaboration: Lisle Ellis, playing an upright bass, and the ubiquitous Phantom Orchard harpist Zeena Parkins. The possibilities were intriguing—although the resulting loss of the Matmos “dance” set, the frenetic, hammering festival set piece the band’s been known to pull out at times, was a bit tragic—and the quartet’s improvisations, in an increasingly stuffy room, were a surreal cap to a day’s worth of being trapped inside. Telephone rings, skittery impressionistic rhythms, slap-bass detours, low whistling Bastard Noise tones, and an omnipresent screetching harp ensued. The temperature kept climbing, some slept, and it all seemed strangely domestic. “We’re Matmos, and you’re you,” Daniel said, gently disentangling his band from an adoring audience. “Thank you for coming.”