Matmos, 'Supreme Balloon' (Matador)

7
Supreme Balloon
Critical Mass
Label: Matador

by Shannon Zimmerman

Legions of Kraftwerk wannabes miss the band's secret weapon: From their man-machine fashion to their preference for dinky beats, the self-described showroom dummies could always tease out a good joke. And although they're purely instrumentalists, Matmos can too, with a charm that sets the laptop duo apart from lesser lights for whom chilly beats and icy synths are ends in themselves. "Rainbow Flag" is a Jetsons-esque symphony for telephone touch pad and synthesized trombone, "Exciter Lamp" sounds like a computerized toy xylophone, and the title track juxtaposes Space Invaders bleeps against progrock noodling-a gag Matmos stretches across 24 minutes and change. Conchords, time to step up your game.

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