In multi-textured layers of tape machine processing, tweaked filters and delay, Matt Karmil merges looped obscure samples, smoothed static, heavy pulses and strangely comforting grooves into his distinctly varied concept of minimal house.
Karmil's self-directed musical education began at the age of 13, after being diagnosed with the Epstein–Barr virus. Isolated at home by flu-like symptoms and fatigue for long stretches, he learned how to play classical guitar with a teacher who expanded his outlook on music into the avant-garde. With one microphone and an Amiga 500, he experimented with recording electronic-meets-acoustic sounds on a borrowed 4-track—he's remained enthusiastic about tape machine noise and randomness ever since. A move to a quiet forest in Sweden and on to Stockholm, Paris, Cologne and Berlin set him on the path to electronic music production. A string of lively leftfield house EPs followed, including disco-tinted tracks bearing Karmil's eclectic samples, hallmark loops and grainy textures on more club-ready labels. Continually experimenting with musical concepts and variations on themes reflective of visual and literary sources, Karmil veered further into experimental ambient essentialism with the subtle shifts in repetition on more meditative recordings, and newer work that divides his granular minimal techno approach between free floating ambient excursions and equally deep-listening tracks driven by pulsing chords, clicks and sweltering basslines.
After playing Portugal summer festival Waking Life among other stops, Karmil performs twice at MUTEK this year: in an immersive improvised set of ambient environments and churning grooves with Circle of Live, and in a hypnotic solo live set on Sunday night.