Matthew Patterson Curry, aka Safety Scissors, has developed from curious musical roots. He took his first, wobbly yet adventurous steps from art school into the music world in 2000, exploring with experimental electronic and dance releases on an array of US and German labels. MPC’s San Francisco electronic music peers Matmos, Kit Clayton and Kid 606 played a huge part in shaping his sound yet he eventually infused this with hints of pop sensibilities, an influence humans can’t escape. A good decade later he can look back on two successful albums, festival appearances worldwide and numerous remixes, including those for Grizzly Bear, Matmos, Architecture In Helsinki, and members of the legendary Japanese electronic music pioneers, Yellow Magic Orchestra. In particular Safety Scissors’ second album Tainted Lunch, released by Stefan Betke aka Pole, is regarded as a prime example of how experimental electronics and pop music can be successfully combined.
His fresh, long-awaited work In A Manner Of Sleeping takes this approach to a new level. The twelve songs range from intricate indie-electronica, enriched with a playful chaos of noises, to poppy minimal house tracks with catchy hooks, to sensitive singer-songwriter sketches and ethereal atmospheres. The beats – whether in house mode or using live drums for a more rocky feel – are never merely functional: they always feel entirely devoted to the song. In A Manner Of Sleeping is an album that can’t be pigeon-holed – any genre corset is burst open by its eclecticism and sudden surprises. This makes the incredible consistency of the album, produced in New York, all the more remarkable. MPC instills a common overarching mood into all the songs – cheerful yet pensive – and muses with the wink of an eye and a mischievous grin about writer’s block, gravity and inertia, infinity and relativity. In A Manner Of Sleeping is full of endearing quirks, but it’s also easy to get hooked on – playful, twisted avant-pop at its best.