Three years ago we suggested to Mattin the possibility of publishing a book containing all his texts to date. Mattin was a little reluctant since much of the material was already available online in one form or another. However, at that stage this material was both distributed and disorganised. With the help of Anthony Iles this material has been revised, edited, and is presented here alongside newly commissioned materials. This book contains texts, interviews and responses to performances in which Mattin has been involved, made between 2002 and 2010. Prior to this book’s production the different nature, means of publication and original languages of these texts have made access to them somewhat difficult. Here we collect them together for readers in order to facilitate access and make connections between material which is not necessarily always easy or coherent as a whole. Readers can explore the contradictions and problems themselves, thus these texts are open to critical thinking at odds with a landscape in which today people seem preoccupied by simply confirming their own sense of aesthetics through refinement and innovation.
We have a subjective identification with this book’s content. The texts were already there,
we only want to unite and share them. We want to distribute them through all the channels that
can activate thinking processes, encounters and possible emancipatory practices. We believe that this way is the only one to keep a text alive, to both question and be questioned by it.
Mattin attacks everything worth hating in contemporary improvised, noise and ‘experimental’ music: everything precious, contemplative, or non-committal. A Mattin performance is not likely to offer ’satisfaction’ to its prospective audience; the ‘experimental’ music fanboys are likely to be vexed not only by the sheer unpleasantness of the performance itself, but also by its lack of innovation, its refusal of novelty. Not that beauty is foreign to Mattin’s work. It’s just that the beauty inherent in his work refuses to be aesthetic, refuses to form the pleasant background to our complicity in our own self-alienation. It is a beauty as strange and disorienting as anything we encounter in the world.