Music Review | posted 14.11.2013
M.I.A.
Matangi
Interscope, 2013
Text Björn Bischoff , Translation Julia Frohn
Your Rating:
5.8
User (5)
5.8
Editorial
Cover M.I.A. - Matangi

Too positive. Supposedly, that’s the reason for delaying the release of »Matangi« over and over. Too positive. Quite a cheeky explanation, considering that it’s Ms. Mathangi Arulpragasam we’re talking about. Various suit wearers have characterized her as a rebellious alternative, as a political artist standing by herself on the music market, and now she doesn’t even fit the pattern anymore? But don’t worry: She still does. Let’s say that »Matangi« is quite a lot, but not exactly “positive“. When speaking of M.I.A – it might be; when considering the whole wide world – it’s not at all. »Y.A.L.A.« is still a parody of »Y.O.L.O.« and somehow, the whole record gives us the impression that there is loads of irony waiting behind »Matangi« and its apparent sunshine. »Lights«, for example, is pretty gloomy, despite the nursery rhymes and the skimpy rhythm. »Bring The Noize« is the obligatory anthem on her fourth record and everything seems to be in its rightful place. However, the biggest hit on the album is the get-out-dance »Sexodus«. Never has M.I.A. rapped and sang better or catchier. It still would be interesting to get a hold of »Matangi« in its unpolished version. Because despite the irony, the record is much closer to »Arular« than to »Maya«, it’s more pop than hiphop, more walk-through than strenuous listening. Without tracks that really stick. For almost an hour, it blinds, glitters, shines and sparkles wherever you look, but you don’t really take anything home from »Matangi«. The production is too unimaginative, the lyrics are too subtle or too interlaced – the whole sound is missing quite a bit of sensitiveness, which might have left together with Diplo. Things that are overdriven and loud are not automatically good. But let’s see it in a positive light, indeed – at least it’s a new record. At last.

You can find »Matangi« by M.I.A. at hhv.de: LP CD
Your Comment
Related Articles
Music Review | posted 20.12.2012
Chief Keef
Finally Rich
Chief Keef’s debut proves that a good hook and a good house-producer don’t automatically make a good record.
Music Interview | posted 29.04.2013
Kendrick Lamar
Creating the Balance
Hailed as the savior of West Coast Hip Hop Kendrick Lamar’s »good kid m.A.A.d city’s« album success says something about the current state of Hip Hop. We talk to Lamar about the rap game then and now and the significance of Compton.
Music Review | posted 12.10.2011
Lana del Rey
Video Games/Blue Jeans
Before it’ll all begin properly when her debut album will be released in February, Lana Del Rey’s first double-single has been released.
Music Review | posted 11.11.2011
Dillon
This Silence Kills
It’s the most surprising BPitch-Control release of the year. Instead of electronica, Dillon is presenting best pop-music á la Feist.
Music Review | posted 08.05.2012
Santigold
Master Of My Make-Believe
Santigold has grown as an artist and has found the very track on the nerve of zeitgeist.
Music Review | posted 02.10.2012
How To Dress Well
Total Loss
On his second studio album, Tom Krell is combining lyrical clarity and musical vagueness under the name of How To Dress Well.
Music Review | posted 02.09.2013
Emilíana Torrini
Tookah
No track on »Tookah« can be compared to »Jungle Drum« – Emilíana Torrini does what she knows how to do best: treasures made of sound.
Music Review
Greg Fox
Contact
Greatness through reduction: On »Contact« drummer Greg Fox uses his instrument even more purposefully.
Music Review
Hessel Veldman
Eigen Boezem
DIY recordings made in the eighties in the Dutch city of IJmuiden: »Eigen Boezem« exposes music by Hessel Veldman.
Music Review
Irreversible Entanglements
Who Sent You?
Jazz doesn’t get any more historically relevant this year: the fantastic second album »Who Sent You?« by Irreversible Entanglements.
Music Review
Various Artists
Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth
You think you already know everything about synthesizer music from the 1980s? Then, thanks to »Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth« you can practice in humility.
Music Review
Cucina Povera & Haron
Plafond 6
Cucina Povera and Haron share the rills on »Plafond 6«. The dilettantish is sometimes so exaggerated that it hurts.
Music Review
Heerlens Percussie Ensemble
Biologic Music
If you say »drum group« now, you’re out: Hot Mule releases »Biologic Music«, six pieces written in 1986 by the Heerlens Percussie Ensemble.
Music Review
Red Axes
Red Axes
Red Axes have released »Red Axes«. On their second album the Israelis seem to have found themselves again.
Music Review
Jensen Interceptor
Strings Of Fear
Without Jensen Interceptor, the electro hype of the last few years would hardly have been justifiable. Now a new Vinyl 12" has been released.
Music Review
Daily Fauli
Fauli Til Dauli
Minimal Wave releases with »Fauli Til Dauli« musical finds of the Danish actor Søren Fauli, who calls himself Daily Fauli here.
Music Review
Ron Boots, Jo Bogaert & Morten Søndergaard
Lachrymation / Ambient Kinsky / Sahara I Mine Hænder / Far Boundaries
The latest release brings together tracks from Ron Boots, Jo Bogaert and Morten Søndergaard, a Dutchman, a Belgian and a Dane.
Music Review
Fire-Toolz
Rainbow Bridge
More weird, more beautiful music than on »Rainbow Bridge« has never been heard in the discography of Fire-Toolz or the catalogue of Hausu Mountain.
Music Review
Litia~Loe
Each Dawn Every Dawn
The new reissue label Mixed Signals has dedicated itself to the reappraisal of hidden corners of house music. One of their first releases is »Each Dawn Every Dawn« by Litia~Loe.
Music Review
Piero Piccioni
OST Il Dio Sotto La Pelle
After 20 years of waiting Piero Piccioni’s soundtrack to »Il Dio Sotto La Pelle« via Musica Per Immagini gets the well-deserved reissue.
Music Review
Sepehr
Shaytoon
San Francisco-based producer Sepehr has released a thoroughly inspiring debut album with »Shaytoon«.
Music Review
Roza Terenzi
Modern Bliss
Barely two years ago, Roza Terenzi made her debut on Planet Euphorique. Now she presents her debut album on Sophie Sweetland’s label with »Modern Bliss«.
Music Review
The Mauskovic Dance Band
Shadance Hall
Four times transculturalism mish-mash, four lo-fi-dub versions: With »Shadance Hall« The Mauskovic Dance Band celebrates a furious debut with the Dutch label Dekmantel.
Music Review
Various Artists
Systems EP 1
Kalahari Oyster Cult has recovered this unknown classic. The six tracks on »Systems EP 1«, 25 years old, are made for the dancefloors in 2020.
Music Review
Ennio Morricone
OST Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso E Arrostitelo
Transversales Disques has reissued »Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso E Arrostitelo«, a less known soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.
Music Review
Pharoah Sanders
Welcome To Love
Tidal Waves releases »Welcome To Love«, ballads by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders released only on CD in 1991, for the first time on vinyl.
Music Review
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
»Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo« from 1978 is an archival find not available anywhere. Mad About has now restored the record in all its details and reissued it.
Music Review
Cucina Povera
Tyyni
Simple in sound, open and slightly reverberant in arrangement: the Glasgow-based Finn Cucina Povera has released a new album with »Tyyni«.
Music Review
Gang Starr
Jazz Thing
Mr Bongo reissues some rap classics from the 1990s on Vinyl-7inch. Among them »Jazz Thing« by Gang Starr.
Music Review
Phi-Psonics
The Cradle
The jazz on Phi-Psonics’ »The Cradle« inspires with almost erotic charm. We get to be introduced to a band from which we will hear even more in the future.
Music Review
Knxwledge
1988
»1988«, the second album by Knxwledge for Stones Throw, shows on 22 tracks in just 37 minutes all the skills of the American Beatmaker.
Music Review
Rosa
Acqua Di Sale
Out of the circle of the Neapolitans of Mystic Jungle comes Rosa. Her 6-track-EP »Acqua Di Sale«, released by Periodica, is without exception cocktail-suitable.
Music Review
Ben Bertrand
Manes
On his new album »Manes« the Belgian clarinetist Ben Betrand combines classical music with electronic effects.
Music Review
Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty
Visions
The Canadians Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty, known as part of BadBadNotGood, have released an album with »Visions«. This has what it takes to be a big hit.
Music Review
World Quake Band
Everything Is On The One
»Everything Is On The One«, the only album of the World Quake Band released in 1981, has now been reissued on Mad About Records.
Music Review
Atmosphere
Whenever
Atmosphere, the duo from Minneapolis, is back with a new album. »Whenever« avoids experimentation and is a solid delivery.
Music Review
Pharoah Sanders
Live In Paris 1975
Pharoah Sanders recorded “Live In Paris 1975” in times of transition. This is reflected in the stylistic diversity of the recordings, but not in the playing of his quartet.
Music Review
Kris Baha
Barely Alive Remixes
The Australian Kris Baha is not getting tired and brings another release with »Barely Alive Remixes« on (Emotional) Espacial.
Music Review
Houschyar
Temmuz
Houschyar’s »Temmuz« is warm from the first second, really muggy, hazy, intoxicating, a cosy blanket, milk with honey.
Music Review
Wildflower
Season 2
»Season 2«, the second album by Wildflower, with musicians from Sons Of Kemet and Ill Considered, is a meditation in exhilarated times.
Music Review
O Yuki Conjugate
Into Dark Water
O Yuki Conjugate’s subtle use of the then-new technique on »Into Dark Water« back in 1987 can only astound in retrospect.
Music Review
Vladislav Delay
Rakka
»Rakka«, the first album by Finnish musician Vladislav Delay in five years, is three quarters of an hour of catharsis with no way out.
Music Review
D.K.
Live At The Edge
»Live At The Edge«, the title of the fourth solo album of the Parisian producer D.K., is as double-meaning as the live recorded music on it is ambiguous.
Music Review
Various Artists
Studiolo: The 90's Afro Cosmic Era
The boundaries between cosmic and comical are fluid on »Studiolo: The 90’s Afro Cosmic Era«, a collection of curious tracks in »Afro style«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Kearney Barton: Architect Of The Northwest Sound
The compilation »Kearney Barton: Architect Of The Northwest Sound« celebrates a producer who has shaped Seattle and the surrounding area like no other.
Music Review
Priscilla Ermel
Origins Da Luz
Just released on Music From Memory, »Origins Da Luz« brings together the best songs of Brazilian musician Priscilla Ermel.
Music Review
Subtle Houzze
Controversy
In 1992 Gary D. and Boris Dlugosch presented the EP »Controversy« as Subtle Houzze, which is now being reissued by Running Back. They are tracks for all day and night times.
Music Review
Various Artists
Transition Vol.1
»Transition Vol.1« combines tracks of four bands from three continents from the time between 1992 and 1994, with one thing in common: Post-Industrial as origin.