Taken from the album Unconditional Love (ORD-37)
Matt Bachmann (b. 1988, Chicago) is a musician/composer/songwriter based in New York. Maybe best known for his bass plucking in Mega Bog, the Seattle-New York-anywhere fresh music nest of Erin Birgy, Matt’s also spent time on the road with Hand Habits, Happy You, and iji.
In 2015, Matt released In Between on Help Yourself Records under the name Big Eater, the name under which much of Matt’s recorded and performed song-oriented music has been collected up until now. In 2016, Matt released Salt and Love Shape on his own label, Left Door Tapes, this time eschewing the song-writing moniker of Big Eater and releasing the albums under the name. These two 2016 albums show another side of Matt’s musical output: repetitive, patient drone music that explore unconventional, seemingly rootless harmonies. The songwriting process and the ambient, meditative process had always been kept separate by the two names, but in 2018 Matt retired the name Big Eater in an effort to bring together both processes. Bringing everything under the name of Matt Bachmann re-invests each project with the holistic intimacy of their shared origin (Matt himself), under the honest heading of his name.
Matt’s latest record, Unconditional Love, will be released on tape via Orindal Records in November 2018. Unconditional Love represents the union of Matt’s always various approaches to music-making. It paints a restrained, sparse sonic picture with a limited and carefully applied sonic palette. The album brings the spare, focused impulse of Salt and Love Shape into the frame of Matt’s songwriting, resulting in what Matt calls “clear, intimate, egoless playing: every sound in support of the song.” Within this sonic framework the album works through a larger narrative process to express themes of a peaceful but foreboding calmness opening up into a focus on friendship and love. The uncomfortable themes of the first part of the record – isolation, death of a parent – are presented with generous powers of observation without succumbing to the power of their negativity. The steady, unhurried tarrying with these feelings pays off in the final part of the record, which opens up into the joyful positivity of the mutual support, the family ties, and the friendships with which we build our lives.
Unconditional Love is written by Matt Bachmann and recorded by Matt, Keith Nelson, Brady Custis, and Kyle Boston. Engineered mostly by Keith with Brady guest engineering in some places. Derek Baron (also formerly of Mega Bog) played drums, trumpet, trombone, and signal processing in some places, and Erin Birgy sang. Matt mixed the record and James Krivchenia (of Big Thief) mastered it.