One of the most unique and eccentric songwriters in modern music – we’re delighted to welcome Emperor X to Ramsgate on September 26th! A must-see for fans of Jeffrey Lewis, Sebadoh and Robyn Hitchcock.
His recordings and live shows fuse the punk songwriter tradition of Billy Bragg with the experimental tape loop minimalism of William Basinski, and reveal incurable obsessions with transportation infrastructure, modernist literature, and lo-fi Chicago house tracks
Although all his music comes with clean, computer-crafted abstract art, he comes naturally to a frugal, tech-savvy ecology-firster’s skepticism of physical product.
“Captivating lo-fi noise pop. Radical, challenging, and sometimes baffling” – Consequence of Sound
A former chemistry teacher, math tutor, and physics graduate student, Matheny left the academic world and spent the past decade travelling on buses and bullet trains across North America and Europe to perform several hundred concerts in venues ranging from a symphony hall in Portugal to the basement of a garden supply shop in Pittsburgh to a record shop/venue in the shadow of the Old City in Jerusalem. He’s shared the stage with luminaries like Laura Stevenson, Sebadoh, Nada Surf, Thurston Moore, Sun Kil Moon, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, The Hotelier, The Hold Steady, Jeffrey Lewis, and John Vanderslice.
Matheny lives in Berlin, where he helps operate Donau115, a small venue central to the Neukoelln neighborhood’s booming experimental jazz scene, and volunteers as a music technology instructor with German NGO GSBTB in a program focused on supporting young refugees. His reputation as a producer, composer, and sound artist is also growing: an Emperor X song was featured prominently in the 2014 Warner Bros. film Veronica Mars. He co-produced the Sub Pop album Bits by jangle punk mainstays Oxford Collapse. He has also been commissioned to compose video soundtrack music for labor unions and non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood and SEIU.
“Inventive, willfully crude rock. A refreshing show for a floundering genre” – Pitchfork
“Like a post-punk version of the Dave Clark Five, playing with Andrew Bird, Syd Barrett, Gang of Four, and Robyn Hitchcock” – Echoes and Dust