A 2002 Profile of the Soft Pink Truth
Matmos’ Drew Daniel on pop samples and short-circuiting pleasure
That Soft Pink Truth loosie (if a 21-minute track can be called a “loosie”) that I wrote about a few weeks ago got me thinking about when I profiled Drew Daniel way back in 2002, a few months before he released his debut Soft Pink Truth album, Do You Party?, on Matthew Herbert’s Soundslike label. At the time, he and MC Schmidt were still living in San Francisco; Matmos had released A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure the year before, definitively establishing themselves as one of the most creative, exciting, provocative, and straight-up fun artists on the experimental scene.
The piece no longer exists online. SF Weekly got bought out by a private-equity firm in 2020 and was shuttered shortly thereafter. I guess technically it still exists, but only as a shadow of its former self. (That Matmos title, which was related to plastic surgery—many of the sounds of that album having come from recordings of plastic surgery itself—turns out to be pretty apropos for private equity, too. A chance to cut—jobs, investment, archives, you name it—is a chance to cure, or at least pad investors’ balances!)
So I thought I’d re-up the piece for posterity’s sake. Sadly, the photograph of Drew that I shot—on color film, with a vintage Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera of my dad’s (which I still have!)—doesn’t exist online, and if I have a print of it, it’s in my mom’s storage unit in Portland, Oregon. I’ve copied the image as it was saved in my PDF screengrab of the article, years ago. WYSIWYG.
Just in time for the holiday weekend, this is the first in what will hopefully be an occasional series of old, out-of-print pieces dusted off for Substack, along with new interviews available only behind the paywall. Scroll on (or sign up as a paying subscriber) to read!