Supreme Balloon

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: May 6, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. In the end, those appearances [by Keith Fullerton Whitman, Jay Lesser, and Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen] point to the album's only downside, which is the nagging sense that there's too much straight homage/pastiche and not enough of Matmos' considerable cleverness on display. Ultimately, though, it's a minor quibble.
  2. In synthesizers, Matmos have found their hearts; through old Cluster records, they’ve created one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.
  3. While The Supreme Balloon's nostalgic synthetic playground is a smaller statement than some of Matmos' other albums, it's still a strong one.
  4. 70
    Although they're purely instrumentalists, Matmos can too, with a charm that sets the laptop duo apart from lesser lights for whom chilly beats and icy synths are ends in themselves.
  5. Ultimately, it underscores everything that’s right with Supreme Balloon--in the absence of any larger narrative structure, the group’s latest album afford them the chance not to be modern theoreticians par excellence, but rather a couple of earnest music fans that convey their own passion through the sounds they create.
  6. The old gizmos and low-res sounds bring out Matmos’s sense of humor in cartoony tracks that go blipping and snorting along in bouncy 4/4, coming up with a new sonic rib-tickler every few bars.
  7. I am generally for shorter albums, so it’s to Daniels and Schmidt’s credit that I actually wish the brief (47-minute) Supreme Balloon was a double album.
  8. This application of the synthesizer’s capabilities across styles and time periods allows Matmos to explore their music through a more purely compositional aesthetic -- and, with any luck, they’ll be remembered for this just as much as for their experimental leanings.
  9. After a few listens, the entirely synthetic remainder that is Supreme Balloon is not merely a relief but a delight. If anything, the limitation of having no limitations has revealed Matmos as more skilled, stylish, and sculptural here than on any of their past releases--not to mention versatile.
  10. Under The Radar
    It’s an incredibly warm and playful new record that pays homage to Vangelis, Wendy Carlos, Perrey & Kingsley, and a host of other synth pioneers with Moog, ARP, Korg, and Roland-driven pieces. [Summer 2008]
  11. Supreme Balloon's vintage synthesizers and basic drumbeats make for the least sonically varied of Matmos' recent albums.
  12. Mojo
    Supreme Balloon is an airy sphere of joyful electronic possibility. [June 2008, p.103]
  13. Uncut
    Supreme Balloon adds up to the duo's most consistently enjoyable albums yet. [June 2008, p.98]
  14. Filter
    Supreme Balloon is homage to a certain tendency in electronic music practically dating back to its inception--one which Matmos most proudly, and justly, belong. [Spring 2008, p.97]
  15. 80
    Daniel and Schmidt have created a peculiar album that reminds us of the majesty contained in vintage machinery.
  16. The Wire
    Getting the full measure of this quickly hermetic collection depends considerably on how you shuffle and deal formats. [May 2008, p.57]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. FelipeP.
    May 12, 2008
    Fantastic and hypnotic sound!
  2. Elliott
    May 12, 2008
    Love it, especially "Polychords" and the 24-minute title track.