In this life there are two kinds of people, those riding the vapor trail left behind by Matt Valentine (aka MV) and those left woefully unprepared to deal with navigating his slide out of the ether. Over the years Valentine has served as a singular spiritual Sherpa, changing form when necessary. From the psych-scratched inklings of Tower Recordings to the cosmic folk he divined while traversing the Golden Road, solo jaunts, a hundred and counting CD-rs with his partner Erika, and on into the current beacon of blues transmissions emanating from the nocturne pulpit of Wet Tuna, any aesthetic differences never overpower the magnetic pull of MV radiating like a beacon. There’s a lot to wade through if you’re just breaking the veil, but that’s all the more reason to nod into the Preserves for a poke around.
Matt Valentine Preserves (or MVP for short) is the viscous adhesive that’s drawing the eras together. Recorded, casked, and cured over the past eight years and brushed upon by those who orbit Matt’s mist (Samara Lubelski, Mick Flower, J. Mascis, P.G. Six, Willie Lane, Erika Elder, Anthony Pasquarosa, Ryan Jewell, Coot Moon, and Spanish Wolfman, among others) the record is a potent elixir that feels like it was siphoned wholesale from the fever dream of a sleeping child god. Tuned to the subconscious airwaves of miasmic melt, the record stews its eight tracks together into a set of space-blues that inhale and exhale with the cosmos.
The record consumes genres and rejects simple categorization. As the incubation lasted for several years it shares a healthy dose of DNA with MV & EE and probably even more so with Wet Tuna, but there are moments when the reverb womb is shattered by a shock of synth or roasted completely in the fires of amplifier fry. The tracks fold in upon one another and unfold in alternate realities of themselves. Static slices and the channels change while Matt remains stuck between planes of existence letting these songs serve as his lifeline back to our reality. The quicksilver runs, mercurial blues sweats, and spectral drone drops find their way back to us, sublimating and seeping through the cracks in the crystal. This is a midnight mass at the temple of time, an obsidian sound that reflects back our desires under a murky sheen. Peer deep and try not to fall asunder, though I’d warn this is a fool’s errand. MVP will haunt us all with its nocturne call.
Early praise for Preserves:
“The album, almost literally, sounds like twisting your radio knob though the FM dial if all stations were dedicated to various styles of psych. Spectral folk, spacerock, weird synth, motorik jams, dub, you name it.“ Brooklyn Vegan
“…eight tasty jams in Valentine’s trademark slow hip-dislocating style.” Tiny Mix Tapes
“MV grinds those sounds down smooth and viscous – melding psychedelic folk, with electronic swamp gas and lighting it on fire with the frantic freak foam of brain-bending guitar. This is Matt as his most potent, burning from the core and set to singe.” Raven Sings The Blues
“…a mind melter of psych vibes.” Brokedown Podcast
“With Preserves, Valentine has sculpted a perfect private-press freak-out record for an era of Internet anxiety and climate-change dread.” AllMusic
“…spaced out funk and digitally contorted psychedelia.“ New Commute