Hourglass Review/Fusion Mag.
When Miguel Valdez brought Mattox out of hiding in early 2010, the band's El Paso/Juarez base was suspicious of what became of the DIY trip-hop shoe-gazers. The four years between the debut Catatonic EP and last year's Zero-Days changed the band as much as the years of violence have changed the city of Juarez. Now that shifts in the lineup have settled, the band is prepping for a string of local performances to showcase new material.
After a summer entrenched in a studio on Texas Street, Mattox has escaped with Hourglass, an eerily seductive grinder set to the heartbeat of a city skirting the edge of an emotional black hole. While past releases have emphasized the band's electronic roots, on Hourglass, Mattox brought in cello and violins, which add an ambient organic layer of melody. Like the drowned out cries of the disappeared, long-time collaborator Diana Batista's ethereal vocals drift along throughout the track, reminding us that the clouds over Juarez still hang low.
Txt by Chris Tarango.
ZERO DAYS Packaging Review
As technological advances come into the present, the way of distributing old technologies becomes a challenge. In this case, the challenge is music exposure and this applies from the very small to the major industry.
We’ve all seen the innovative approaches to music distribution with major artists like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails but the local scene also has to adapt. With limited resources, where and how does a local band expose themselves? Here, Mattox has taken inspiration from all outlets. The standard approach to passing out CDs at a show no longer produces positive results so Mattox took it a step further. With the use of the internet, they were able to give their music away and although that might seem frightening to bands who are used to making money off of $5 CDs, Mattox knew that the more people were exposed to their music the bigger the audience would become. However, a major piece of the music experience was missing – the artwork that pulled the concept and the tunes together. Instead of making the typical sleeve for a cover, Mattox gave their fans much more than easy manufactured art – Mattox spent countless hours creating individual, one-of-a-kind pieces of art just for you. This approach is much more personal and sincere than any other CD or digital download.
Each beautiful crafted package comes with a set of three screenprints, CD or digital download code and lyrics. However, this is just the exterior of the music. Once downloading the album or playing the CD, then you enter a completely new world where everything becomes clear, music and artwork combined to produce a very personal concept familiar to the border area.
Txt By Yannell Rodriguez. This review also appeared on Fusion Mag