Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Matan - The Flood

Hear The Track Here

Matan is a 20 year old alternative artist from Isreal who I have already encountered a couple of times in the past, once with The Gate (April 2006) and again with Travelogue (July 2006). I preferred the latter track on balance because it was by far the better song of the two and that distinction is important when the instrumentation is so sparse that the song become predominant. Obviously Matan is as strapped for decent sound facilities as the rest of us and his work does tend to show a distinctly lo-fi edge but - as yet - I actually think he has received a reasonably quiet response from me. You know me and amateurish, sloppy tracks, it's like a vermillion square to an uncastrated adult male of the cattle genus. The thing, I think, that has kept Matan from a good Gilmore Gnashing has been that at least his tracks are interesting enough to make listening not so much of a chore, and - toee be fair - he does have a very decent voice.

That says a lot, I think.

Now whether he has caught me on a good day again, or whether The Flood is possibly the best track from him so far only time will tell. For my money, Matan has sidestepped the slight flaws that marred his first two tracks and supplied not just a good song but a coherent, intelligent and flowing arrangement to surround it with. There is still the little problem of his singing (he sings with a distinct accent) but in this case, it actually adds to the appeal of the track - at least for this reviewer. Having said that, it is fair to say that this is also not a track to set the world alight, being very laid back and understated and this - once again - is one of its main attractions for me.
The song's the thing though, again and again with this artist and my feeling is that he making considerable gains in his knowledge of how to construct and perform what are fairly complex tracks - or at least The Flood is. A percussive, moody track that has a menacing air about it, enlightened by the almost sweet vocal tone Matan is using. Listening to this more than a few times, I kept getting this little niggle about his vocal reminding me of something, but even now I'm still no wiser to pinning it down. What I have pinned down is this little track (it's only two minutes and change) and by golly, I like it. I have to say that the accent on the vocals does detract from the impact of the song - especially when you have lived with it for a while but that really is something the artist has no control over. It doesn't detract that much from a very worthwhile song performed with the proper young-man-in-a-tailspin angst and doom laden intent. In short, it works.

Recommended Alternative track with a bit of local character.

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