Locks – All music guide 2002

Moor, Andy/Matthews, Kaffe
Locks 2002

Kaffe Matthews is well known for her numerous avant-garde projects as a keyboardist and sampler artist. If the name of guitarist Andy Moor fails to ring a bell, it’s only because he usually performs under his pseudonym Andy Ex (in the Ex, of course). Locks is this duo’s first offering, an unusual and impressive album. The two artists improvise, the lady using a “live converter” to sample the gent’s guitar and add noises and glitches. She tweaks and loops, creating strange repetitive tunes over which the guitar occasionally roars (“Delta”). There is rhythm, there are riffs, and some punk energy blows through the laptop. The album has been pieced together from studio tracks recorded at STEIM (Amsterdam) and Annette Works (London), plus three cuts from a concert at Instants Chavirés (Paris). The pieces have been carefully arranged in suites and the whole thing flows nicely, despite the fact that parts of a particular suite can come from different sources. The five-part “Here Is Your Coat” (the longest at 17 minutes) stands out because of its wide range of dynamics and clever multi-layered guitar loops that give the impression of a thoroughly written composition. “AK-47 MH” surprises with its gentle, twinkling first section — really not the kind of music you’d expect with a title like that. In the age of glitch electronica and laptop-based experimental music, the guitar tended to become less and less incorporated and more and more ambient (Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi). Andy Moor shows you can import its more delinquent edges into the genre. Recommended. —

François Couture
All-Music Guide