Assembled Minds is the electronic recording project of Matthew J Saunders. The specially Assembled ingredients include traditional analogue studio rituals, sci-fi dreaming, shimmering ravecore techno and arcane LED-lit magick practices. Pretty tasty.
He’s also head engineer here at Patterned Air Recordings, is one half of 4AD electronica misfits Magnétophone and is one third of Rapid Eye Electronics Ltd. (R.E.E.L. — along with Farmer Glitch and IX Tab).
He has collaborated on record with Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Pete Kember, King Creosote, James Yorkston, Farmer Glitch, IX Tab and other luminairies of various wyrd scenes. He has recorded two Peel Sessions, and other sessions for Radio 1 and Radio 3, Rob da Bank and XFM. He has also toured extensively, notably with Sonic Boom who joined Magnetophone as a live collaborator and manager.
Creaking Haze and Other Rave-Ghosts
Differently great. Rippling reverb-misted pianos and a sleepwalk trance of drum machines and pumping bass – the vibe is much more Ultramarine’s “British Summertime” than ardkore. And there’s this sound that’s in most of the tracks: a high-pitched “peaky” timbre that is… ecstatically edging into dissonance, is the best I can do by way of describing it. It reminded me of what Trevor Horn once told me: his belief that great albums have the same sound running all the way through – his example was The Blue Nile’s Hats – so that every track is a chip off the same lustrous block, refracting slightly different. Simon Reynolds, Retromania
The Assembled Minds is the work of Matt Saunders, formerly one half of Magnétophone (4AD). It’s a brilliant distillation of lost nights out and the ghosts of dead raves. Like the sounds in your head the day after, when you’re vainly attempting to sleep, but the rhythm won’t stop. Brilliant misremembered rave flashbacks.Jim Jupp, Ghost Box Records
The title of Creaking Haze and Other Rave-Ghosts is expanded upon in a sleeve text, one of many curious papers enclosed in a case tied with leather: “The creaking haze of near forgotten, ages-old Saturday nights out: spectral dance music; flashback drug events; our young wide-eyed ghosts”. Throwing in references to the English countryside and a reminiscence of the “night bus home” (the well-known analogy for post-raver Burials’ music) too, the territory we’re on here is more than familiar. With its light, almost new age take on rave, it’s like some 1990s artefact one might find in a rural British charity shop. Yet this album’s appeal lies less in its evoctive (or elese estranging) relationship to rave, but in a more general weirdness: the slightly deformed melodies, the queasy presets from the far ened of the menu, the explicably endearing sluggishness of the grooves.Steve Barker, The Wire
Seamless link time, well almost — barely just mentioned Resource Centre nee John Hanson who was one half as was of Magnetophone, well what do you know, up pops Assembled Minds the celebrated moniker under which his erstwhile sound partner Matt Saunders hides and who has a second album looming somewhere on a very near visible horizon entitled ‘creaking haze’ from which has been pulled as a sneak preview the cut ‘summoning of the rave’. Near perfection as you’d come to expect from this former 4AD alchemist, with its footings and heart firmly located in the past its visionary eye and headspace surveys keenly undiscovered future worlds to fuse an absorbing warmth hued carnivalesque experience tripped to a terraforming cocktail of ambient, trance and trip hop tongues all coalesced into a radiant beacon of feel good euphoria which to these ears sounds like delirious fanfares of lunar oceans emitted from alien sea shells.Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience
Complex Experimentation. Another outsider exploring new avenues for dubstep away from the standard dancefloor wobbler, Veil is normally part of electronic indie experimenters Magnétophone — but on his solo debut winds round the dubstep template with buzzing synth melody lines and complex structures. ‘Park Mist’, with militant drums and haunting vocal snatches, is particularly powerful, and adventurous. DJs should check this.MixMag
There’s nothing like a complete outsider to turn the conventions of a genre inside out, and Matthew J Saunders of 4AD’s motorik shoegaze pop explorers Magnétophone has done just that with his incursions into dubstep as Veil. Marshalling analogue synths and reverbs, Saunders brings whimsical Radiophonic melodies (on ‘Eat The World’) and an ever so slightly ramshackle, played-live sensibility, as if (Hot Chip were jamming with Jaki Liebezeit (on ‘Park Mist’) into play. Thankfully, though, there’s none of the indie tweeness that could come with these approaches. Instead, Saunders has taken on board dubstep’s sound system sense of physical scale, and in so doing made his components strange, threatening and fantastical — and, by forgetting DJ-friendly orthodoxy and adding musicianly touches, opening up rich new avenues of exploration of chord patterns and long form melodic routes through dubstep’s architecture.Joe Muggs, The Wire
Radio Play For ‘Creaking Haze’
‘Come Meet Us in the Grotto’— 26/01/16. Gideon Coe, BBC 6Music
‘The Face in the Mirror is Not Mine’— 18/01/16. Gideon Coe, BBC 6Music
‘Morris Horror’ — 14/01/16. Tom Ravenscroft, BBC 6Music
‘Through the Morris Light’ — 14/01/16. Tom Ravenscroft, BBC 6Music
‘Morris Horror’ — 23/12/15. Gideon Coe, BBC 6Music
Our head engineer Matt Saunders has created a mix of tracks for The WIRE Magazine that inspired and continue to inspire our label. You can hear the full hour and eight minutes here: The WIRE Patterned Air Recordings Mix
Desmond Leslie “Gathering Of The Elders”
Rob Hubbard “Theme From Thrust (Soundhog Remix)”
Steve Reich “Pendulum Music”
Roy Of The Ravers “Emotinium”
Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange “Running”
Aphex Twin “On (D-scape Mix)”
Kreidler “New Earth”
Piano Magic “For Engineers”
Sauveur Mallia “Synthetic Neutron”
Lalo Schifrin “The Hologram”
Daphne Oram “Power Tools”
Photek “The Hidden Camera”
Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange “Falling”
Raymond Scott “Cindy Electronium”
Assembled Minds “Crying On A Sheet of Acid”
Jóhann Jóhannsson “Part 1 — IBM 1401 Processing Unit”
Deaf Center “Eloy”
Paul Bonneau “Preambule No 36”
Mu-Ziq “Old Fun #1”
Delia Derbyshire “Blue Veils And Golden Sands”
02 Mar 2016
Assembled Minds has made an hour long mix of techno tracks for Self-Titled Magazine. The tracks were all in some way influential in the writing of Creaking Haze and include Orange Lemon, Ultraviolet, Sweet Exorcist, Sonz of a Loop da Loop Era and loads more. Check it out here: Self-Titled Mag Assembled Minds Mix
28 Jan 2016
Legendarily awesome journalist Simon Reynolds has given Assembled Minds’ Creaking Haze a thorough and brilliant review. You can read it here: Simon Reynolds Reviews Assembled Minds
11 Nov 2015
Assembled Minds’ second album, and our first, ‘Creaking Haze and Other Rave-Ghosts’, will be released on 25th January 2016.
It’ll be packaged in a 400gsm custom poly-sleeve tied with a strip of leather, full colour U-card insert with double-sided printed card wallet, a fold-out 405mm x 99mm artwork, a hand printed rave-cult myth-symbol in silver on black card, and a symbol-printed tracing paper square.
Shimmering Morris-techno-rave for anyone whoever daydreamed of dancing through the dark, frightening night in a mysterious hazy elsewhere.
The first AM album ‘Tomorrow Curves’ was released on First Fold Records in 2011. We are planning on re-releasing it on Patterned Air sometime in the near future.
A wyrd collection of Radiophonic analogue sci-fi soundtracks and voltage controlled incantations. It’s the sound of traditional tape studio rituals, wide-eyed sci-fi dreaming, arcane LED-lit magical practices and dirty workshop magick.
Assembled Minds’ second album will be released on 25th January 2016 on Patterned Air.
This is an album that almost doesn’t exist.
It’s a cloud of old memories; a collective remembrance-pool of distant Saturday nights out, rave-fields, night-clubs, dancing, getting intimidated, getting high, feeling the love of the tribe but always looking over our shoulders for some dark threat or other. And best not mention the bad trips.
We’re getting lost in daydreams of flickering techno-rituals and the blinding lights of open-til-4am chippies. We’re dancing and belting around in the swirling whiteout haze of decades gone-by, and the highs we’re indulging in from these vaporous remembrances are becoming unbearably addictive. They’re almost too good to ever come back from; they’re so much better than the shit we have to deal with in the real world. So when the whole of the tribe is back in the rave-fields in a simultaneous collective recollection, every one of us dancing in the eerie pulsing fog, perhaps then we’ll choose to stay there in that moment, and fade away happily, if slightly intimidated, into our own memories.