It's safe to assume that at this point in Martin Schmidt's and Drew Daniel's storied and long-stretching audio career, there isn't a physical object within the pair's capabilities of comprehension and travel that the duo hasn't at least considered utilizing for sound recording and subsequent application in an adventurous composition. As Matmos, Schmidt and Daniel have made music using the sounds of a cow uterus, snails, LASIK surgery tools, a rat cage, burning flesh, and liposuction, not to mention a litany of other unconventional items and, on occasion, actual musical instruments. Treasure State, Matmos' new collaborative record with Brooklyn-based experimental orchestra So Percussion, extends the duo's list, albeit in a relatively unfocused manner.
The loosely composed songs on Treasure State are each based around one theme: "Water" uses water sounds, "Aluminum" utilizes beer cans, "Needles" harnesses the sound of a cactus, and so forth. Surrounding Matmos' manipulated samples, So Percussion performs the more melodic elements of each piece. Sometimes the disparate layers intertwine and play off one another ("Cross" is a strange bunch of noise that manages to groove into a dance beat), while other songs let the instruments and field recordings play out seemingly unaware of each other ("Swamp" is as murky and chaotic sounding as its title implies).
What's always made Matmos' albums most interesting was a dedication to concept and theme, whether it be medical procedures, Americana, or iconic figures. Treasure State is void of any such idea, and lowers the album from 'elevated thought and experimentation put to musical document' down to 'interestingly unusual musique concrète.'