It’s been a busy year for TWINS, the solo project of Matt Weiner. Between running CGI Records, collaborating on synth and goth danse powerhouse DKA, and performing as half of Pyramid Club, the DJ and producer has played a swath of local shows, including a recent party organized by Boiler Room. His new EP, Music from the Insider II, is yet another example of TWINS’ hypnotic blend of post-punk, industrial, and house music.
The six-track EP, released by the UK’s Clan Destine Records, is one of the project’s most complex works, brimming with frigid guitars and pulsing with intricate beats. When compared to its 2014 predecessor, Music from the Insider, the second installment sounds almost organic, albeit still cloaked in a mechanical haze. Originally, Weiner had planned to release both parts as one album, but since the sessions for the record were spread out over a long period of time, a two-part release ended up making more sense.
While this isn’t TWINS first foray into the guitar/bass/drums driven world of post-punk, it’s the first record on which the project has completely embraced the live medium. According to Weiner, the idea was to tap into his favorite elements of the genre without access to a proper studio or the patience to deal with a band. In addition to playing guitar and bass on the record, he also utilized MIDI instruments to imitate live drums, a visceral addition which adds a sinister rhythm to the album. The synthesized reality of the EP invokes comparisons to post-punk bands like Modern Eon and Pornography-era Cure, so while it might not be the best TWINS album for electronica purists, the depth of Music from the Insider II is worth the stylistic changes.
Still, some elements of TWINS’ production aesthetic aren’t completely overshadowed by the addition of new influences. “Boundaries” is one of the most danceable tracks on the EP, buoyed by a nightclub tempo which cuts through the cavernous, wintery guitar work. It’s not the strongest track on the album (that distinction goes to “Everything Outside”), but it pulls from TWINS’ 2015 album Nothing Left in a way which melds intricate house music with dark atmospherics. Ultimately, it’s this ability to unify disparate sounds and genres without the results feeling experimental or rigid that makes Music from the Insider II a logical stage in the evolution of TWINS.
While TWINS isn’t planning on playing locally before the end of the year, Pyramid Club will be performing in support of Clock DVA at the Earl this Saturday, September 24. In addition, Weiner has a pair of new releases in the works — a cassette for local imprint Harsh Riddims, as well as a record for Enfant Terrible out of the Netherlands. Stay tuned for more information on those projects as it becomes available.