Matt Davignon - “Bwoo”:
Matt’s first cd on his new live instrument – the drum machine. None of the tracks on “bwoo” contain the traditional use of beats. Instead, the instrument is processed through several different sound-altering devices and samplers in real-time, creating gurgles, hums, chirps and surreal, otherworldly music.
Released in May, 2005.
Order from Edgetone Records
Download at Emusic.com (emusic membership required)
Here's what people have said about "Bwoo""Over the last ten years or so, Matt davignon has been developing an improvisational and refreshingly untutored approach to electronic music making. His surreptitiously evolving pieces float forth free from sampler grids and timecodes, twisting and turning through untrammelled space. It's tempting to describe his latest offering as an extended drum solo - tempting, but too flip to do this music justice. As often happens in art - from the Petrarch sonnet to the Lomo camera - creativity can often flower brilliantly through and around self-imposed restrictions. In this instance, the restriction is more daunting than most. Bwoo was composed and performed using just one instrument - a drum machine. Amazingly, this spartan approach yields expansive, multi-hued results - this is no kick/snare/hi-hat desert. Davignon coaxes a shifting, kaleidoscopic ecosystem from his chosen black box - from the slowly flourishing drones of 'Pad' to the insectiod susurrations of 'Flam Radio', to the quivering, delicate feedback and staccato woodblocks of '96 Clocks'. The title track is a coy succession of hesitant drones, while the closing 'Init All' is stately, almost ceremonius; plucked, mornful chords summoned from some alien cloister to disintegrate gradually in our unfamiliar gravitational system"
- Chris Sharp, The Wire
"Relaxing open, organic sounding crackling with blue-white and maybe green undertones. Love the wet and warm sound. Very successful at making technology sound like nature or you are underwater getting eaten by coral or listening to chirps of electronic bats"
KFJC, Los Altos Hills, California
"Despite his ten years of improvisation I never heard of Matt Davignon, but his methods, using solely a drumcomputer, is certainly something new. He uses two drummachines, feeding them through some sound effects. One could all too easily think that Matt Davignon plays techno music, but he doesn't, not at all. It may not even be rhythmical by any conventional standards. I am not sure if the nine tracks on this CD were generated through improvisation, perhaps it was, perhaps not. The beats are treated to quite some extent, they are bend, reshaped and remodeled, and the result is a hasty sound, a muffled sound that by far is not ambient, techno or even industrial. Experimental it is for sure. Certainly one of the stranger things I encountered in recent times. Quite complex sound systems, a sort of nervous microsound, a lo-fi musique concrete or a not so academic acousmatique. This defies much of the usual descriptions. It's quite a fascinating journey that is going here. It would be nice to hear what he could when he is improvising with other people. As such, with 'Bwoo' he handed in his papers. This is it, let's do it."
Frans de Waard - Vital Weekly
"I can only remember another record made with drum machines as a single source, namely the pretty uninteresting 'Quorum' by Mikel Rouse; but 'Bwoo' is different, both in the compositional methods (see the CD booklet to understand how Davignon develops his sound) and in the final outcome, which in this particular case is certainly excellent. Using arrhythmia as the basis of his work, Matt creates biotic sounds that keep being entangled in hampered mirages where juxtapositions of greyish perspectives become spouse to fragments of noise and underskin boiling. Waiving any hope of commonly intended harmony, the receiver is surrounded by all sorts of microactivity, spreading around like worms on a corpse in the sun and transforming pretty solid sketches in an utter mush that must be gulped while clinching your fists. Intelligent, innovative and quite disorientating."
Massimo Ricci - Touching Extremes
"There's no air of mystery surrounding sound manipulator Matt Davignon. He debunks Bwoo's
candystore of hypnotic sounds with a liner note diagram that reveals
their sole source -- a Boss DR-660 drum machine -- and the devices he
used to achieve them. His song titles tell you exactly what you're in
for: "96 Clocks" ticks and knocks, "Click Sel" boasts a series of
modulating clicks, and "Bwoo" and "Uut?" make their titular sounds.
There's no heady theory or deconstruction in Davignon's aesthetic; his
interest lies in creating organic, breathing sound experiences by
toying with machines. Bwoo is more about childlike exploration than big boy sound sculpting.
only betrays his lack of total innocence through his immense patience.
He has a fetish for colorful tones, yes, but he's not greedy -- when he
finds a promising sound, he'll ride it out for as long as it merits.
"Pad", for instance, barely budges from its beautiful opening notes,
expounding gamelan style upon the same series of notes for six glorious
minutes. With an ear for the pure and life-affirming, Davignon presents
a number of sounds that could prove endlessly engaging. It's not that
sitting and staring at the same spot for an extended period of time is
a fun activity in its own right -- it's that the spot's so damn
"Bwoo's best tracks display ample
development, though, demonstrating Davignon's steady hand in multiple
compositional approaches. "Flam Ratio" feels like a natural environment
rather than mechanical manipulation -- it sounds like a field recording
from an empty hallway, capturing echoing tones that could double as
footsteps. "Uut?" opens with a fascinating ratcheting noise that
simulates its title. It eventually moves from its mechanized animal
calls to a threatening rising tide of static. It's the album's most
marked progression, and the only time that Davignon seems the least bit
aggressive or disruptive. It's also the album's most rewarding track.
"If there's anything holding Bwoo
back, it's the fact that it's almost paradoxical. Generically, Davignon
creates avant-garde music, but his techniques are so simple and his
results so humble that it hardly feels as if he's on the cutting edge
of anything. He has produced one of those rare albums that's both a
journey outside the norm and a trek through well-worn territory."
Phillip Buchan - Splendid E-Zine
"Speaking of experimental electronic noise...Matt Davignon is right out
there on the edge. These pieces contain some really interesting ideas,
and since Davignon is more than willing to spend the time necessary to
flesh out those ideas, the songs are always worth a full listen. This
sounds cool, and feels even better."
Jon Worley - Aiding and Abetting
"An exploration in drum machine minimalism
and ambient beats, Bwoo's single sound source seems to be a fusion
of modern day Scorn, with David Kristian's period with Alien
8 Recordings, bending and warping the beats and sounds to create a beautiful
atmosphere that gives an illusion of organic growth. An excellent, highly
"O nome Matt Davignon traz-me à memória o disco que, sob o nome artístico de And Gnat Vomit, incluído do duo Muck, gravou para a Pax Recordings o ano passado, e que aqui recenseei em Dezembro. Davignon, que reside e trabalha em Oakland, Califórnia, publica agora na Edgetone Records um disco solo de electrónica experimental, com a mesma atitude que caracterizou o anterior álbum Roc: criar música mutante que ultrapassa os limites conhecidos, permanecendo fora das hipóteses comuns de catalogação.
"Bwoo baseia-se em movimentos repetitivos de sonoridades estruturadas em ciclos multidireccionados, que apelam ao imaginário espacial. Matt Davignon improvisa investigando sobre timbres e texturas, tecendo tapeçarias de sons gorgolejantes obtidos a partir de uma única fonte sonora, a máquina de ritmos Boss DR660, de acordo com o diagrama disponibilizado. Os sons assim produzidos foram depois trabalhados via processadores de efeitos e transformados em organismos vivos, habitantes do espaço sideral."
Eduardo Chagas - Jazz e Arredores