Monday, 20 November 2017

Carl Matthews ‎– "Aksu" (Mirage ‎– M601) 1980

Another mid-twenties space progger who was apparently completely oblivious to the musical revolution happening around him, and carried on playing at being Tangerine Dream into the 80's and beyond. This mini space-synth revival around 1980-4 consisted  wholly of chaps with beards too old for punk ,too young for hippy, with very bland names, living in the most unfashionable rural arseholes of England. Carl Matthews did his astral travelling in darkest Cumbria, a part of England famed for its national parks and Nuclear reprocessing plants; a strange juxtaposition between nature and anti-nature.
Why Carl didn't give himself a cosmic name, like this album title perhaps,I dunno? If he had called himself 'Aksu' and the album was called 'Carl Matthews' my perspective on this tape would have been enhanced. Now all I see is a long haired bloke shut in a bedroom with stacks of expensive synths that he'd saved all his spending money for.Maybe even still living at his mum and dad's place.(Nothing wrong with that of course,it's cheaper, can buy more gear!....that's what I did anyway!)
The music is in fact a rather good modernised take on the Berlin School of keyboard twiddling, and sounds rather gorgeous. Lovely phat analogue warmth, filled with repetitive alien melodies , and less aimless keyboard fingering than is normally heard in this micro-genre.
Unsurprisingly, Carl works mainly in soundtrack production these it says on his Soundcloud page, he describes himself, modestly, as: "An old guy who likes making sounds for Library/Production companies."

A1 Azzama 3:06
A2 Encounter 6:52
A3 Aksu I 3:12
A4 Unoverse 0:27
A5 Voyager 3 2:10
A6 Aksu II 2:36
A7 Peace Within Chaos 5:16
A8 Look In To Find Out 4:02
B1 Lünaland 14:47
B2 Release 4:15
B3 Aksu III 4:06
B4 Atomic Rage 5:24


Pisŧöff said...

Oh my yes.

Steve said...

Thank you JZ! Bought this in '81 from Eurock of the few tapes I ever had that gave up the ghost completely. Hadn't heard it properly in years-only a warbly, poorly dubbed CD-r. Hearing a 'clean' copy again is like a dream come true. (My fave CM release by far.)

Fernfrequency said...

Thank you SO much!

I discovered his music via blogs like yours and Iridescence being a personal favorite. I tried to email Carl to ask him if ANY of his back catalog would ever be available on cd never heard back. I wonder if hes still alive or wants nothing to do with interested parties willing to actually PAY him for his labor!

Jonny Zchivago said...

He is alive by the way, check his soundcloud page(see link above)
He sounds like a humble chap, which gets the thumbs up from from me. Does soundtrack work apparently.

Fernfrequency said...

Thanks KZ. Did not know he had a soundcloud page.