Forces exist that we cannot see. “Strange" matter, for example, is a strain of matter made of quarks, and thought to occur at extremely high temperatures in the core of neutron stars. Within this “liquid” substance the familiar structure of matter is disrupted.
The composition space of Andy Widdecomb aka DeeZ is rumored to produce extremely high temperatures, and today strange matter is flowing from that space in the form of an extended-play bass music release. The four-track Strange Matter EP represents the more experimental side of DeeZ music, complete with 'delic vibes and a taste of live instrumentation. This of course doesn’t preclude the presence of DeeZ’s characteristic curdling sound design. Rather, Strange Matter finds the Boston-based producer covering new ground by couching that aggressive sound design in subdued downtempo atmospheres.
The off-kilter “Hootenanny” has a unique drum arrangement that sidelines the traditional kick-snare go-to. Resonant, thumping tom drums parlay with a set of snaps, bells and other high-end percussive pattering to create a rich tribal stomp. Strange matter enters the fray in the form of a bass synthesizer with great girth and dimension, engulfing the listener as it drops into and out of the mix. The complex cut “Tangent” lets 808 drum chops and vague vocal samples echo through open space beneath a whirling low-frequency oscillator (LFO). The listener is warned that such a combination could be “hazardous to the average”, but persevere and you will be rewarded with a barrage of samurai sword sound design. While it strikes hard, this impressive synth display does not consume, but sinks into, the mellow and closefisted vibe of the song.
“Mullen’s Bog” featuring Smigonaut offers the most meditative moment on Strange Matter, “meditative” being an adjective we could scarcely conceive using to describe DeeZ music until now. The melody is metronomic, and the notes reverberate against the outer edges of the stereo spread, surrounding the listener in a breathable atmosphere. Glitches that splatter like running water or chirp like birds give the soundscape a life-like character. Subtle sub-bass wafts across this atmosphere, playing the background for a squelchy synthesizer that is abrupt but not overwhelming. Plucked guitar strings appear from the ether. These are Smigonaut’s surprising contribution to the track, multi-instrumentalist that he is. The guitar's melody is delicate, but at its melodic climax DeeZ thrusts it forward with prominence into his otherwise aqueous mix. It’s a powerful moment, and reminiscent of Lux & Indivisible Inc., a group that offers early examples of the enchanting sonic spaces created when glitch and guitar overlap.
The wide but widely unknown world of physics sparked Andy's imagination as he produced this new set of tunes. “The idea of these obscure areas of physics that we don't really understand is inspiring for me,” he says. “There's this unknown layer to existence that we have yet to uncover.” Similarly there’s layers of the electronic music spectrum yet to be uncovered. Fortunately, DeeZ and other daring scientific minds can continue to lead us, and themselves, into the unknown. Stay chooned.