Inspired by Matmos’ brilliant new album and live show, Ultimate Care II—made entirely from sounds created by and with their Whirlpool washing machine—we made a mini playlist of songs using or inspired by all things laundry-related.
(Hear all the tracks plus excellent suggestions from Twitter on a Youtube playlist here.)
Matmos have brought the machine they used to make the album on tour with them.
2. Vivien Goldman – Launderette
From post-punk/new-wave pioneer Goldman’s 1981 EP, Dirty Laundry. The EP had Adrian Sherwood, Robert Wyatt and John Lydon on the production credits, (although apparently Lydon’s credit is down to allowing the EP to be recorded on the sly during PiL’s sessions for the Flower Of Romance album (source) )
3. Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
Very pleased to have been reminded of this ace 1995 album. 20 minute wig out, The Diamond Sea, sounds like it could conceivably have washing machine sounds in it, but couldn’t verify this so went for the obvious choice.
(Trivia: before this album’s release the band had been considering changing their name to Washing Machine, thanks wikipedia)
4. Petwo Evans – Tumble
Petwo Evans make polyrhythmic club music often using found objects for percussion. This track features Rich Thair’s drumming on the inside of an old tumble dryer.
5. Kate Bush – Mrs Bartolozzi
Brilliant character/concept track from Kate Bush’s 2005 comeback album, Aerial. Widely reported as being “about a washing machine”, when asked about it on Radio 2 Kate Bush set the interviewer straight:
“Is it a song about a washing machine? I think it’s a song about Mrs. Bartolozzi. She’s this lady in the song who…does a lot of washing! (Laughs) It’s not me, but I wouldn’t have written the song if I didn’t spend a lot of time doing washing. It’s fictitious. As soon as you have a child, the washing suddenly increases.
What I like is that a lot of people think this song is funny, I think that’s great, but, actually I think this is one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever written! (Laughs)
I like the idea of clothes, they are very interesting things aren’t they, because they say such an enormous amount about the person who wears them, they have a little bit of that person all over them, Skin Cells. What you wear says a lot about who you are and who you think you are. I think clothes, in themselves are very interesting. It’s the idea of this woman, who’s kind of sitting there, looking at all the washing go round and she’s got this new washing machine, and the idea of these clothes, sort of tumbling around in the water, and then the water becomes the sea. The clothes and the sea…
I just thought it was just an interesting idea to play with, what I wanted to get was this sense of this journey, where you’re sitting in front of this washing machine and then, almost as if in a daydream, you’re suddenly standing in the sea.” (source)
6. Neal Howard – Indulge
This last one is a little tenuous but included because a) it’s an absolute banger and b) it featured on Network Records classic 1990 Bio Rhythm compilation (Dance Music With Bleeps), which contained in the sleeve notes a brilliant and almost definitely imagined history of a Sheffield micro rave scene based in launderettes
Update: As pointed out by @skeuomorphology on twitter, the Mr Fingers track mentioned in the sleeve notes is very real and also a ? certified banger
7. Mr Fingers – Washing Machine