Published Mar 29, 2017The Mattson 2 is a guitar/drum jazz duo composed of identical twins. In the past eight years, their studio works have been growing denser and more complex, while maintaining an intemporal quality. It's no surprise, then, that when the brothers met Chaz Bundick through a common acquaintance, they didn't know who the Toro Y Moi frontman was. They had been evolving in different circles, even though they had been cultivating a similar sensibility.
Combining the Mattson 2's taste for exploration and Bundick's newfound interest in prog rock, the album Star Stuff was recorded with no rules and no set plans. The pairing makes a lot of sense, since all three musicians have been spending the better part of the last decade combining and actualizing jazz and rock genres. The result is a sprawling, warm and idiosyncratic album that doesn't sound as much like collaboration as it probably could have. It's as if, in his role as a producer, the Toro Y Moi mastermind integrated the Mattson 2's ideas and made them his own instead of building upon them.
As a result, the degree to which the listener will enjoy Star Stuff will probably depend on his or her appreciation of Bundick's body of work. Completists will enjoy the laid-back, cinematic vibes they have been missing since Toro's Underneath the Pine, or the cosmic textures explored on What For?. Those looking for his catchier songwriting capabilities, though, might get lost in the trip… (Company Records)