Review Summary: Just be happy this doesn't cost money.
Emboldened across the front of this album is the face some will recognize as the baby featured on Hijokaidan's “King of Noise,” along with a solitary dollar sign in the baby's right eye, and clearly across “Proletarian of Noise.” It speaks directly to Mattin's political views, which are somewhat unconventional and somewhat radical, but always present, even in his music; all of his records have recently gone “anti-copyright” and are free for download. In addition, a record label of his, Free Software Series, is a collection of releases by rather out-there performers, who have made these selected works off entirely free software. Most of these releases are tagged as “anti-copyright” or “copyleft,” which idealistically are interesting ideas, but in the real world I doubt musicians who gain their living off their art will follow Mattin's lead. Now it's been a question lately if there's an inherent validity behind this non-conformist, non-profit method; not necessarily regarding Mattin's extreme views but more so regarding if musicians who realistically don't mind laying on the outskirts of profitable media should receive some sort of inherent praise or not. On this release, Mattin speaks his mind quite a bit about this issue, screams it really, and unbeknownst to him, he screams out a prophetic “no” to this question. *** Proletarian of Noise
It's not as though I disrespect Mattin for his ambition or really just find him abrasive. Ignorance is possible. Atop the fact that he's making some of the most abrasive noise out there, he seems to be taking it all very seriously; he feels responsible for an impact, a psychological and philosophical one with his music. Really imagine white noise phased across the stereo channels, while a snare crunches between that and computer noise, keeping time for no reason. On top are Mattin's indecipherable vocals, which really doesn't support the concept of anti-consumerism so evident behind the 'music.' But if you must venture you can find such tidbits as “can you become someone else? ***ing consumer, you are a ***ing passive endless consumer, just to feel a little bit above average...” and “what's so funny? Your ***ing face? Ha! You want me to split your mind and I can't. You know why? There is no mind. Ha!” Strangely enough the lyrics are not the worst vocals on this album, because Mattin is magic. Lisa Rosendahl reads his “Thesis on Noise,” as the finale. The thesis is actually alarmingly short, thankfully. But, it had to be yawned out to just over thirty-one minutes in order to make the album exactly an hour long. Realistically, I appreciate silence in music quite a bit when it serves a purpose. However the British yawn of a woman sparsely reading syllables against Cage-ian inactivity serves little purpose to the “Proletarian of Noise,” but, that's probably the point.
Mattin enjoys the title that he's given himself, now, and will make with it what he pleases. He uses the internal microphone of his computer to create feedback soundscapes in order to truly be such a proletarian. Sensory conduction is his main source of material, and his recording methods are absurd. It's not to say that high-tech production methods are needed to produce a successful sound work, but working with a proletarian method in a proletarian context in an attempt to be a proletarian leads to a proletarian result. The material here is obtuse, of course, and arcane – not as if the material is obtuse because it's arcane or vice versa, but both obtuse and arcane, thus being extremely boring and low-class. I urge you then, not to listen to Proletarian of Noise
. Do not listen to it to figure out just how bad it can be (I've heard stories of people being in tears because of this album). Do not listen to it because you are curious. Do not listen to it because you want something to ironically appreciate. Do not listen to it with your eyes closed, as if Mattin is some computerized boogeyman and you can wish him away. Mattin is very real, and, on this album at least, very, very dangerous.