Agitated Atmosphere: Matt Carlson – Particle Language

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Matt Carlson.

The resume of Matt Carlson is one to make lesser creatives jealous, but rehashing its high and lows is rendered moot by this recent string of solo output. Further adventures toward the obsolete await those who pick up Particle Language, Carlson’s first LP from local entity Draft.

It seems anyone with a bit of musical know-how and a stockpile of tiny keyboards and synthesizers can bang out an album brimming with magical bleeps, blops, and beeps with the touch of a button; in fact, it seems the basis for many a burgeoning DIY labels. Carlson (and Draft) is able to avoid comparisons to repetitive heap of newbie noisemakers by avoiding the same patterns that infiltrate countless abstract albums.

Particle Language is versatile; an almost academic display of what extraterrestrial sound can become without relying on the standardized manual of experimentation. The album displays a wealth of differing ideas, elegantly combined to form a fully functioning album. As disparate as Particle Language can seem as it winds its way from A to B, Carlson’s knowledge of pop and his ability to create discernable melody out of the malaise creates an experiment in how we process sound as much as a leisure take on how we listen to music.

Elements of dance, electronic, and outrageous experimentation dot this call to the heavens. Matt Carlson is returning the beacon in a universal language, the pieces to be formed by other life forms in other epochs but in the meantime, those of us on earth will do our best to decipher the greater message hidden deep within Particle Language and be better off for our perseverance.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. You can also find him on Twitter.

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