Matters & Dunaway – Midtech EP

Matters & Dunaway
Midtech EP

The second release from Boston duo Andre Obin and Thomas Gallagher – sandwiched, fittingly enough, between 2001’s Lowtech and the to-be-released Hightech – falls somewhere between post-rock instrumental and ambient music. It’s an odd combination of deep, throbbing basslines, electronic and organic drums, and the perfect amount of soothing keyboard atmospherics. And listening to Midtech‘s five songs is like listening to one long, spiraling, flowing track with enough variation to save the listener from boredom and often provoke hitting repeat upon its end.
The deep, pulsating bass that opens “Movement” mixes with up-tempo percussion for the most upbeat and almost danceable track on Midtech, even as the keys drift in, flirting with an electronic element while keeping the song in Fucking Champs or Trans Am neighborhood. The atmospherics and keys have more of a role in “Spidercheck,” which rides some fine percussion and soars even as it presents a strong beat. Picking up the flow, “Orange Code” is much more soothing and atmosphere-driven, with light guitar giving it an intricate flow and the keys drifting throughout. By “Stars in the Lake,” it’s not surprising to find the most electronic track yet, with synthesized, down-tempo beats and drifting guitar and keys, a lovely electro-ambient piece. And finally “Honduras” combines odd synth sounds and soft, soothing atmospherics in a strictly electronic work, completing the flow from organic to electronic with ease.
The best part about the electronic/rock hybrid of Matters & Dunaway is that they perfectly balance their two sides. On the one hand, the keyboards are soaring and soft, but they’re not overplayed. And while the beats may be electronic, they’re not ultra-fast techno-style but rather sound akin to organic drums. The duo has found a nice balance between down-tempo electronic and post-rock intricacies, and I hope they stay there.