Mattu is an upcoming UK producer who's sound can largely be described as wonky and seems to come from the same school of approach as that of Rustie or Hudson Mohawke, with his tracks usually being an assault of vivid, colourful beats that hit hard, as displayed on last year's 'Söulfull' EP. This EP was akin to being bombarded with various paints and glitter and it seems Mattu's assault isn't over as he drops his full length 'Lightwaves.'
'Shells' introduces this thing with warm, bright and snuggly with glimmering synth and harmonious vocals, but in the last minute introduces some tough bass and high-hats. This track hints at an album that's going to be bright and fantastical, but also punchy and swinging.
'Submerge' is more bouncy with skipping bright music-box esque textures and again some thickness in bass as well as rapid flickering to really put things into motion. The Rustie influence really shows here, with this song sounding like it could've been on his game-changing 'Glass Swords' record, the way it's such a rainbow-like roller-coaster with tons of adrenaline.
Things get more tender for 'Pan Hypes' with the pace slowing down. However, the brightness is still omnipresent with the glimmering arpeggios as well as the jumpy approach so the record doesn't lose momentum, it's just the spirit of this track is more reserved, making for a more introspective atmosphere. 'Coral' has timid approach and is aided by some strong, heartfelt vocals from Abbie Clifford giving this song a romantic, starry-eyed feel. With that being said, the song does build and build with 808's picking up speed before bursting into a funky and dazzling, but muscular breakdowns.
'Lightwaves' has an overall vibe of being this wonderland-like journey, but riding a motorcycle through it. However, in most of the tracks Mattu is able to bring something new to the fold, making each of the tracks stand out from the others. With that being said, he's done an excellent job of making everything flow cohesively and fit under one umbrella, making this a fluid, well-paced adventure.
'Sunrays' features Death Grips esque, epileptic fit-like sequence of digital beats, that feel like a computer malfunctioning, towards the end, following plenty of fluorescent joyriding. '373' on the other hand, has a tender opening with a folky noodling and the sound of rain in the background. Some wonkiness swings back and forth underneath to ensure this song gels with the rest of the record, but it's subtle and there's some faint beats so this song maintains its soothing charm.
'LOIC' is unashamedly pop with fuzzy autotuned vocals and glittery, but sombre keys. It feels more Britney Spears than anyone in the wonky genre. This song is a big risk on a record like this and one that may turn some people off for a few minutes, who are just here to slam with hyper beats. However, the fact that Mattu is taking that chance shows how bold he is and given how infectiously catchy this song is, isn't likely halt your enjoyment of this record anytime soon.
'Grudgez' is hard as nails with some tough guest spots from System 375, iknownobodylikesme, Dylan Cartlidge and YNG MTU (Mattu, is that you?). It's exhilarating hearing each of these guys take their turns entering the ring and spitting gnarly bars. It's got such a posse vibe to it, making you want to be in this gang and Mattu's beats feel more like sledgehammer this time round, though he still throws in some shiny flickering making sure this is still specifically Mattu.
'Over Ryde' is also burley, hyperburley in-fact, as the thickest textures on the whole record are set to a wiry, rhythm, but with a firm groove. This song takes a breather with some low-key glimmering, whilst some dirty bass lingers in the background. When this track again ascends, it's included with choir-like vocals, truly making it feel like you're rocketing to the heavens.
This is a thrilling record. If you're a fan of the colourful, eccentric flavour that seems to be emerging in electronic music, with the likes of Iglooghost and SOPHIE, then you're going to have a lot of fun with this. However, even if you've never given wonky music a try, if you've never given electronic music a try, this is still to be strongly recommended as you could do a lot worse as a starting point. From start to finish, 'Lightwaves' just puts you in this shinning world and it's one you're going to want to stay in for a while.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.