Musca is the third in the series of domestic house albums to follow the groundbreaking LP classics Around The House (1998), and Bodily Functions (2001) both set for a special ‘21st anniversary of the Accidental label’ vinyl reissue on 16th July.
After the wide expanse of his last big band album The State Between Us made with more than 1000 musicians and singers across Europe, this album instead is inward looking. Born of both intimacy and collaboration, features eight singers, Verushka, Siân Roseanna, Allie Armstrong, Bianca Rose, Melissa Uye-Parker, Daisy Godfrey, Y’akoto and Joy Morgan - all of whom Matthew has never worked with before or met face to face. It also features musicians Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Tom Skinner, Finn Peters, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Leo Taylor, who, like the singers, all self-recorded and in isolation from each other.
Matthew says: “Like presumably many other albums made during the last year, Musca reflects on navigating the challenges and joys of our most intimate relationships whilst the world is in turmoil. Not just with Covid, but with the rise in state and political violence, facebook-friendly fascism, white supremacy and a climate in crisis.”
Matthew has talked about the need to retreat to an earlier, more familiar way of creating music as a form of solace during an unstable year. Having completed his PhD last year about the ethics of composing with sound and with his next experimental project based on more than one billion sounds, Musca is a moment of introspection, a pause. The album takes its name from musca - the genus part of the latin name for a housefly and includes a variety of sounds from around the farm where he lives, including a synth made from his wife’s dog, one of his pig’s snoring and fox cubs gekkering.
The 14-track album has been mixed by Matthew and mastered by long term collaborator and Grammy winning engineer, Mandy Parnell (Björk, Brian Eno and Aphex Twin). The artwork is by Sarah Hopper who has done nearly all the artwork for Matthew’s house music output for 25 years.
An instant classic! The moment I put this music into my headphones, I knew this was something special. After that, I just had to dig into Pharoah Sanders discogrpahy. Sanders was already a giant of Jazz. But this last release, 18 months before his death can just elevate his reputation even higher. Rest in peace Pharoah! Alex Deschênes
Like so many others, this came like a bolt out of the blue and, even though it's well before payday, I had to have this astonishing album on vinyl to prove it exists. The feel of the tunes makes me feel like the Impressions do, Curtis Mayfield, the big spaces and instinctive horns and stuff drifting in and out. Great grooves and I can see lots of ghosts nodding along to this with big smiles on their faces. At last! Anthony Cottrell