By Kennedy Pawluk
No stranger to bands forming and coming apart, Travis Matchett put Tragic Mattress together after leaving metal and punk bands Guise and Cryptic.
“You really have to depend on other people to show up and play,” says Matchett. “Then once you get somewhere, you play some shows and tour a bit, then things change, someone might get married, and life happens so rapidly. Basically, I just tried to go a solo route. You really don’t have to rely on anyone to show up, you have all your instruments there just waiting.”
With his first solo release, this summer’s <3, Matchett took a different musical direction than in his past work. Created as a final project in his fine arts studies in 2017, Matchett produced a fully electronic techno album, though <3 is more sonically vast than run-of-the-mill electronic records. The album’s opening track, “Ti Tig”, sets a minimalistic bass melody over simple, yet offbeat percussion. “Drager Suoethgir Namsilat” takes a more experimental approach with challenging rhythms taking the forefront over droning electronics. With <3, Tragic Mattress released a dynamic experimental electronic album full of lush textures, complex rhythms, and beats that are sometimes driving, often chill, with the influence of glitch spread throughout.
On Tragic Mattress’ latest release, Blue Banker Transitory Money, Matchett once again proved his undeniable creativity with an album completely unlike any of his previous musical works. Even more so than <3, BBTM is wildly dynamic in sound and style. Matchett utilizes electronics, vocals and more traditional instruments on BBTM, resulting in a more structured whole, yet still dipped in the experimental. Tracks like album opener “Variable Speed Corridor” and “Complacent Right Swipe” harken memories of Beck’s late-’90’s, early-’00’s era, while “God’s Cock,” the album’s most intense track, is instantly comparable to the intensity and glitchy feel of Death Grips. BBTM hits hard at points, provides more relaxed oddball grooves at others, and contrasts that with the lush soundscape of “Leaving”. Tragic Mattress is producing albums unique to the Edmonton music scene with something enjoyable to a wide range of listeners.Blue Banker Transitory Money, Record Review, Tragic Mattress