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. While The Supreme Balloon's nostalgic synthetic playground is a smaller statement than some of Matmos' other albums, it's still a strong one.
  2. 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.
  3. 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]
  4. Supreme Balloon's vintage synthesizers and basic drumbeats make for the least sonically varied of Matmos' recent albums.
  5. 80
    Daniel and Schmidt have created a peculiar album that reminds us of the majesty contained in vintage machinery.
  6. Mojo
    Supreme Balloon is an airy sphere of joyful electronic possibility. [June 2008, p.103]
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The Wire
    Getting the full measure of this quickly hermetic collection depends considerably on how you shuffle and deal formats. [May 2008, p.57]
  14. In synthesizers, Matmos have found their hearts; through old Cluster records, they’ve created one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.
  15. Uncut
    Supreme Balloon adds up to the duo's most consistently enjoyable albums yet. [June 2008, p.98]
  16. 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]
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.