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Boomkat Product Review:
Underrated 1997 collection of soft-focus jungle and Detroit-influenced Plaid-adjacent bouncefunque.
Back in the mid-1990s, before Lee Norris went solo and started the Neo Ouija label, Metamatics was a duo with Dominic Kennedy, releasing a run of influential 12"s on the influential Clear imprint. "A Metamatics Production" collects those early plates and rattles through the duo's fuzzy take on '90s dance formula, fudging the edges of jungle, techno and electro. It's gorgeous stuff that still holds up decades later, mostly because it's out on its own; the most obvious reference point would probably be the duo's Clear labelmates Plaid, but Metamatics were more skeletal and undoubtedly funkier.
Spiking the essence of Bukem et-al's resoundingly popular liquid d&b, Norris and Kennedy carve out slippery grooves on jazzy low-enders like 'Swimmer' and 'Raytracks'. 'Skunk Me' and 'Two the Point' meanwhile point at the pad-rich Midwestern shuffle of Norris's Norken project with elegiac synth-house moods and fathoms-deep beatbox loops. The album is at its best though when the duo let their love of day zero electro and vintage electro pop to permeate the bedrock. 'Dope for the Robot' still sounds completely fresh, augmenting an almost Drexciyan robotic squelch with feather-lite melodies and clattering beats, and 'Piece it Together' settles into a sexy downtempo groove that lays the groundwork for Metamatics' next run of releases. Well good.