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MATANGO! had a few different birthplaces over the 2018-19 period: an old house in the hills of Perth, back porches in Fremantle, a Prague apartment, a French country villa in the swelter of summer, and a lonely pandemic piano…
A strange and sinewy beast of an album, it’s something of a departure from earlier KDH work: minimal, leering with glitching drums samples, synth swells, empty spaces, and a soup of fat bass tones to float it all in.
Recording started about two weeks before lockdowns did in Australia, and so everything went into that unique mode of hibernation for a while, but the album beds were largely done, and work eventually recommenced, discovering what was there, reshaping and re-recording some tracks, and throwing in an experimental opening salvo (Survivor Guilt) which is largely free of regular instruments, more a montage of samples and textures, written on a piano and then deconstructed into a spectral hiss and wail… A few of the band members also (somewhat recklessly!) decided to become parents in this time, so – wow – it’s been a pretty complex journey, woven through with all that deep and intense human learning (and lack of sleep).
The album title obliquely refers to the 1963 Japanese psychological horror film of the same name (directed by Godzilla/kaiju maestro Ishiro Honda).
Entwined in the lyrics are inferences of global unrest and isplacement, near future scenarios, climate catastrophe, pandemic vortices, the Simpsons, the grace of women, refugees and boat people, Cold War paranoia, the creative process itself, and of course Australia and its peculiar place in things. Cheery stuff.
From the opening ghost radio hums of Survivor Guilt, to the entrancing closing whispers of violin on Weigh of a Woman, this album goes on a pretty strange and serpentine journey. Enjoy listening, as much as we have enjoyed making it.

1. Survivor Guilt
2. This is Karrakatta
3. The Day the Dinosaurs Died
4. Prescribed Burns
5. Atomic Kitty
6. Patrician Facade
7. Unlike Hemingway Said
8. Thirteenth Sunday
9. New Ordos
10. Weight of a Woman