Matmos is an American experimental electronic duo of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel active since the mid-1990s and based in Baltimore, Maryland.
The band is named after a "seething lake of evil slime" from the '68 cult sci-fi film Barbarella. Matmos gained prominence for its postmodernist approach and the ability to create "listenable" music from various bizarre objects. On most releases, Matmos scrupulously list all samples and sources, ranging from amplified crayfish nerve tissue, cow uterus, snails and contact microphones on human hair to life support systems, inflatable blankets, solid gold coins, and plastic riot police shield.
Daniel and Schmidt create "concept albums," taking turns to decide on the next record's topic. Matmos has explored various diverse concepts: "surgical procedures" on 2001 A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure, a "Western/country" genre ('99 The West) and "Medieval music" (2003 The Civil War), "various types of plastics" (Plastic Anniversary in 2019), "Whirlpool washing machine" (Ultimate Care II from 2016), "Ganzfeld experiment & parapsychology" (The Marriage Of True Minds in 2013).
Martin Schmidt met Drew Daniel in San Francisco in the early 1990s, and they soon began making music together, self-releasing an 8-bit mono "mixtape/demo" cassette In Lo-Fidelity circa 1993. Schmidt and Daniel were also members of a glitch project Disc with Miguel Depedro in 1997-98, and played in occult-avantgarde band Iao Core, appearing on '98 Armadillidium Vulgare album. Between 1999 and 2008, Matmos were signed to the Matador label. The duo joined Thrill Jockey Records in October 2012 and released its 12th studio album, Regards/Ukłony Dla Bogusław Schaeffer, in May 2022. Matmos also runs Vague Terrain private imprint and has published over dozen of collaborative albums and EPs on other prominent international labels, including Important Records (2), FatCat Records, Locust Music, Tigerbeat6, Scum Yr Earth, Die Schachtel and Quarterstick Records.
Matmos developed a rotating cast of guest musicians throughout the career, regularly working with Lesser, Jon Leidecker (Wobbly), Thomas Dimuzio, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Karl Ekdahl, Dan Deacon, Jason Willett, Owen Gardner and other members of Horse Lords, People Like Us, and Matthew Herbert. In 1998, an Icelandic superstar Björk invited Matmos to remix her Alarm Call single. The duo further collaborated on her 2001 Vespertine album and toured internationally as core members of Bjork's live band on Vespertine (August–December 2001) and Greatest Hits (May–September 2003) world tours. From 2011 to 2013, Matmos played in the stage ensemble for Bob Wilson's production The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic with Doug Wieselman (guitar, clarinet), Gaël Rakotondrabe (piano) and Oren Bloedow (guitar, bass).
The band contributed music to a few soundtracks, including Daria Martin's "Minotaur" film and works of Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Drew and Martin also made music for hardcore gay fetish porn, with selected tracks released on 2002 A Viable Alternative To Actual Sexual Contact CD-R. They recorded a song with David Grubbs for Les Invisibles, a 2012 documentary about elderly French gays and lesbians, and appeared on The Urbz: Sims in the City video game soundtrack.