Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

November 19, 2017

new album from MATT KREFTING, “Microchips” (KSE #390)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:43 am

MATT KREFTING, “Microchips” (KSE #390, CDR album)

$8 postpaid in the US (see below for ordering info and overseas pricing)


Honored to present a THIRD  KSE album from the ultimate post-postmodern renaissance man, Western Massachusetts’ MATT KREFTING….perhaps the only man who can be featured at an experimental music festival and be the most outre artist on the bill, who can sing a George Jones song in a way that can break your heart, AND who’s been published in the Huffington Post! One of the wonderful things about Matt’s work in any discipline (and as with David Bowie, MK could be described as a “generalist,” in the best sense of that term) is that you really can’t anticipate what he will deliver, except to say that it will be elegant, it will possess wit, it will be carefully crafted, and it will be intellectually engaging on a deep level. When I have sent him my comments about his previous KSE albums, our conversations sometimes have existed exclusively on the theoretical/conceptual level.

We originally arranged for this album to be a 2016 release, but Matt did not feel the work had really fallen into place yet, and he continued to tinker with and re-evaluate the “Microchips” project until delivering us the finished master last month. It is not a long album—-just 27 minutes, divided into 14 tracks—-but I can’t imagine anything being added to it. Most of the raw material comes from found sources, but it’s merely clay in the hands of this master sound sculptor. Curiously, this collage of an album can contain spoken sections about “mircochips” that sound like their original source might have been some religious conspiracy theory podcast (the kind of thing Jim Bakker does while selling survivalist foodstuffs to older people he’s filled full of paranoid fantasies), but the way they are re-contextualized and then placed among passages of almost-rococo pillowy music (perhaps growing out of tape manipulation, but does it really matter? I think not, only the result matters), this sound-installation of an album creates something that’s both witty and disquieting—-and is THAT a difficult trick to pull off! I can imagine some listeners who are chained to a particular genre of music, even if it’s in the so-called “avant-garde,” might wonder if they are being “put on” by this album (especially as it folds in on itself in the last track, with echoes of a virtual Greta Garbo and Curly Howard), but hey, I remember that being said about Dennis Hopper’s THE LAST MOVIE and Godard’s KING LEAR. And those are the works that have turned out to be the most forward-thinking and contemporary, the further we careen into the future…because they embrace contradiction and have woven a sense of being incomplete into their warp and woof.  I have a feeling that MICROCHIPS (and whenever I read that title, I hear “Microchips And Fish” by the Red Crayola playing in my head) may well be the work that NAILS this sorry but fascinating year of 2017. What contradictions and possibilities and pain and achievement and loss and confusion are happening in this year ! Truly, it is the best of times and the worst of times….and the most absurd of times….and the pinnacle of achievement in some ways in the midst of a diamond-crusted New Gilded Age that would drive a Theodore Dreiser or a Mark Twain or a Woody Guthrie crazy. Don’t ask me for specifics, but somehow this album seems to exemplify and contain in one package the contradictions. In the immortal words of Walt Whitman, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” Indeed!


As always, Mr. Krefting has provided a witty and elegant statement on the album, which like the album itself, is self-deprecating and embracing of seeming contradiction:

“MICROCHIPS. Microchips, if implanted in pets, can be very sensible. But what are pets, really? Like what ARE they?

If applied to human medical records, they (microchips, not pets) can still be sensible, maybe, but also more open to exploration. Still, a good idea?

But take it out, tease it. A bit more. I have no idea what microchips even are, really. I just have an idea about them. I got obsessed with that idea, which is different than being obsessed with the chips themselves. Then I found them everywhere. Or, I found them in places that felt like everywhere. And I went from there. Then out. Then back again.

How might I render this in a way that folds into the methods I like to use to make music? I don’t know. I took well over a year thinking about that and working on the pieces that comprise this album, but I still have nothing that even resembles an answer.

In many ways, this is the most purely experimental thing I’ve ever done, but it is, I promise, also minutely considered in its final form. Plenty of moments lie on the cutting room floor.

I could not create a unified atmosphere, no matter how I tried, but I also worked against something too fractured. It’s like a diary of a particular moment that shows a complete disregard for the passage of actual time.

I feel like taking the muscles out of my body, and I feel like I ought to keep them for myself, and make them into something.

There’s no sense in even being paranoid anymore, is there? It’s just the way it is, this assumption of guilt….A drill in the head is worth three in the underbelly.

So my chip sits wherever it sits and it sings to me, a soft, far-off, rusty golden sort of glow, letting me know that I am where I am and nowhere else and I’ll say for sure that I can go either way. Some nights I think the walls are gorgeous and mysterious, and the next night they’ll make me want to scream and extinguish myself. But that’s life, or something like it, so that’s enough for now.”

Matt Krefting, Holyoke, October 2017


Well, there’s nothing I can–or should–add to that. You should print out Mr. Krefting’s words and keep them as liner notes for this album, which you now cannot help but purchase and share with your friends.

Matt Krefting has issued two previous albums for KSE (both out of print): RECITALS (KSE #266) in 2014, and SWEET DAYS OF DISCIPLINE (#220), from 2012. We also published a chapbook of his poetry, THE PRINCESS OF KNIGHT AVENUE (KSE #259) in 2013. Matt also appeared on the KSE 10th Anniversary Compilation album.


MATT KREFTING, “Microchips” (KSE #390, CDR album)

NOTE: ALL CDR’s  ARE NOW PRICED @ $8.00, postpaid in the US (see below for ordering info, via paypal).

(OUTSIDE THE USA , one album is $18.00 postpaid, first two albums are $20.00 postpaid, then $8 each postpaid after that—sorry, but it now costs almost $14 US to send one CDR overseas….you save A LOT by buying more than one—in fact, the price on an order of two or more HAS GONE DOWN!

1 album= $18, 2 albums= $20, 3 albums= $28, etc. Thanks for your understanding of this. The Post Office now charges $14.50 to mail ONE cdr without a jewel box to Europe or Asia!)

Payment is via paypal, using the e-mail address   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com   . It might be helpful for you to also shoot me an e-mail telling me you’ve sent funds and what items you want…or if you prefer, tell me what books/cdr’s you want, and I’ll send you a paypal invoice.



KSE #385 (CDR), TOM CREAN, “3 Heads Tame”

KSE #379 (CDR), SHANGHAI QUINTET (featuring Alfred 23 Harth), “ShangShan/Stone Age Music” (Harth and young Chinese musicians, recorded live in Shanghai, China, October 2016)


KSE #377 (CDR) JOHN BELL (new for July 2017), ‘Cambridge Surprise Minor and other peals’….new compositions for percussion from Bell, well-known for his collaborations with Alfred 23 Harth….

KSE #373 (CDR), DANE ROUSAY, “Anatomize” (new for July 2017), solo percussion from the San Antonio-based composer and multi-instrumentalist

KSE #375 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE & JAMES L. MALONE, “The Limits Of The Possible” (new for July 2017)… one of .KSE’s most acclaimed artists,  saxophonist-composer-theorist Massimo Magee is back with a blistering duo album with guitarist James L. Malone

KSE #381 (CDR), BILL SHUTE, “Bridge On The Bayou: Bill Shute Reads the Arnaudville Poems”….readings of the five poems composed in Louisiana in 2016, soon to be published in one book-length volume

KSE #372, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Manitas” solo classical guitar


KSE #362, FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE, “Florida Nocturne Revisited”….new interpretations of Shute’s Florida Nocturne Poems


KSE #355 (CDR), MORE EAZE, “wOrk”



KSE #359 (CDR), TOM CREAN & MATT ROBIDOUX, “Blank Space”–cover art by Jennifer Baron

KSE #336 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Kepler 452b Edition”

KSE #351 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Music In 3 Spaces”

KSE #350 (CDR) ANTHONY GUERRA / BILL SHUTE, “Subtraction” KSE  reissue of album originally released in 2011 on Black Petal Records, Australia 

KSE #335 (CDR album), REVEREND RAYMOND BRANCH, “Rainbow Gospel Hour…On The Air!”—a wonderful hour-long AM-radio broadcast, mastered from cassette, capturing the warmth and joy of Rev. Branch in both music (lots of it) and spoken message

KSE #333 (CDR album), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Tunnels” solo 12-string acoustic mantra guitar

KSE #318, ALFRED 23 HARTH & JOHN BELL, “Camellia”

AND as a public service for Matt Krefting fans, we are bringing out of the garage the LAST available copies of the 2016 KSE 10th Anniversary album (KSE #331), featuring Matt, plus also otherwise unavailable tracks by ALFRED 23 HARTH,  SARAH HENNIES, RAMBUTAN, VANESSA ROSSETTO, ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, DEREK ROGERS, BRENT FARISS, GRAHAM LAMBKIN, and MASSIMO MAGEE. Available ONLY with the purchase of a copy of MICROCHIPS (same price as any other KSE album)


We’ll be back in a few weeks with the final releases in our Winter batch: Lisa Cameron/Robert Horton……More Eaze…..and Ernesto Diaz-Infante. And then in the early months of 2018, an exciting new poetry collection from John Sweet!

As always, thanks for your support as we finish out our 12th year  of operation.


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