01 Shawn MativetskyTemporal Waves
Temporal Waves
People Places Records PPR | 051 (peopleplacesrecords.bandcamp.com)

Montréal-based Shawn Mativetsky, one of Canada’s foremost tabla players, is an accomplished performer of Hindustani classical music and a sought-after tabla educator. He’s equally at home in genres as diverse as world music, jazz, pop, composing and performing for dance and theatre productions and working with contemporary Canadian concert composers. Nicole Lizée, Tim Brady and Dinuk Wijeratne have all included his tabla playing in their work.

Featuring production and performance contributions from Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes), the eponymously titled Temporal Waves reveals yet another side of Mativetsky’s musical persona. Here sonic atmospheres are dominated by retro analog synthesizer sounds and aesthetics, by drum machine and electronic effects, all framing his masterful tabla playing.  

Rooted in Mativetsky’s demoscene community involvement in the 1990s, Temporal Waves is a touching nostalgic look back to his youthful days steeped in the DIY electronic music scene that congregated around “tracker” software and the music of early video games. All these features are reflected in the album, with Mativetsky’s un-ironic tabla upfront in the mix, and skillfully integrated musically too. 

Listening to Temporal Waves occasioned numerous surprises. Luminous Objects for example is in a five-beat rhythmic cycle outlined by a delightful diatonic sequenced melody, while the next track is in seven. Importantly, both odd meters give plenty of opportunity for tabla displays.

Mativetsky was a member of the Montreal group Ramasutra 25 years ago, and recently has collaborated with live coder David Ogborn. This attractive new release is yet another step in his Indo-electronic journey, one which has substantial crossover appeal.

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