Saturday, July 4, 2015

New Album Releases: SOMNAPHORIA (Matchess)

Matchess Album Somnaphoria

Alternative Rock

Total Time:

Record Label:
Trouble In Mind Records

MP3, Vinyl

Release Date
June 23, 2015

Order links, audio samples and track list after the jump.

Matchess Picture

Product Description: Chicago’s Whitney Johnson’s Matchess project took flight in 2013, with the super limited cassette release “Seraphastra” on Digitalis Industries, a bewitching miasma of synth & organ drones, prepared tape loops, & viola scree. Trouble In Mind rereleased “Seraphastra” in 2014 on vinyl, giving it a much-needed wider release, and since then, Johnson has been working dilligently, crafting her next installment in a proposed trilogy, entitled “Somnaphoria”. Johnson’s solo work has always toed the line between the corporeal vs. metaphysical - the juxtaposition of the physical interaction of viola strings & the electronic pulses of circuits & oscillators.

Recorded by Johnson in her home studio & mixed by Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas/Cave), & inspired by the writings of Rimbaud, Baudelaire & Verlaine, “Somnaphoria” is a dazzling leap forward. With a cohesive vision both thematically & sonically, the album fuses elements of contemporar y classical music & modern experimental electronic music with a neo-new age mysticism. Johnson isn’t the first electronic musician to find inspiration in the French poets - pioneering musician Ruth White also found Baudelaire’s “Flowers of Evil” to be a guiding force & titled her 1969 album after the writer ’s collected poetr y works & White’s seminal work seems to be a touchstone for “Somnaphoria”.

Much like Rimbaud’s symbolist poems, the underlying themes of the album’s eleven compositions play out like the fever-dream of a sleeper refusing to wake up, drifting in & out of focus, but seeing all. Indeed Rimbaud’s quest to become a “seer ” thru his poetry is analagous to Johnson’s quest for a shamanic connection to the listener through her music. Matchess continues to evolve, both recorded & in a live setting & Johnson has only begun to allow us, the listener to hear her potential. “Somnaphoria” is released on the vinyl format ONLY in an edition of 500 copies on mixed vinyl, with artwork by Chicago illustrator Carrie Vinarsky & includes a download code.


1. So Many Fetters

2. After Its Own Image

3. Nursery Tale of the Spectre

4. Castles in the Air

5. Mortification of the Flesh

6. Sinister Prophecies of Coming Catastrophe

7. Burst Asunder

8. Stripped of Its Halo

9. The Law of Pure Will (or, The Lamentation of the Greatest Wealth)

10. But Their Chains

11. Melts Into Air


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