Matthew Pastkewicz was one of the many talented musicians heard on MEN, the record-breaking, quadruple-disc, 111-track debut album from Cardiff's favourite bedlamites Quiet Marauder.
Quarters, an EP that Pastkewicz released under his own name earlier this year, is absolutely nothing like MEN. For one thing, it has 109 fewer tracks, making it pretty short even by EP standards. For a second thing, its two songs have more in common with Mogwai and their Rock Action roster than with the lo-fi, melodica-heavy unfolk in which Quiet Marauder specialise. Pastkewicz's own press release thingy describes his sound as "drone based post-rock", but speaking as someone who briefly heard drone daddies Sunn O))) boring the Primavera crowd to death back in June, I will say that Quarters is far more exciting than that description might suggest.
Perhaps I just haven't investigated the genre properly, but the word 'drone' suggests to me a type of music that by its very nature is monotonous, dull, and devoid of life and emotion. That's not remotely what you'll hear if you bend an ear towards Quarters; Pastkewicz's brand of percussive, pulsing electronica sounds positively triumphant, like the sort of thing you hear in your head when you run for a train and actually catch it.
Panting like a hound, you slump victoriously into your seat, only to realise that in your haste you forgot to buy a ticket.
Okay, so prog rock it ain't (German Tongue, Polish Town is almost eight minutes long, and it basically stays in the same groove for that entire period), but repetitive music can be interesting, even thrilling, and that's exactly what Quarters is. If you want to spend ten minutes or so punching the air and scrunching your eyes up as you throw your head back and forth, this is the EP for you.
You can download Quarters - or purchase the limited edition CD version - here.