The Recordings

The Mattson 2 Feeling Hands


The Mattson 2 Feeling Hands
Text: Mikey Hottman

It’s not often that I come across new music that really catches my attention. The Mattson 2 not only caught my attention, it punched me square in the face. If jazz and surf music were in a hundred-mile-an hour head-on collision, the sound produced would be The Mattson 2.

Twin brothers, Jared Mattson on guitar/bass and Jonathan Mattson on drums, form the duo. Contributions to the album from the likes of Tommy Guerrero and Ray Barbee add to the already full sound of the duo. Simple yet complex surf-style guitar riffs and hi-hat-driven jazz-like percussion are only a few elements of the album Feeling Hands. Hints of bands like Tortoise and Don Caballero come out in the songs like “Ode to Lou” and “Chi Nine.”

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing The Mattson 2 play live a number of times, and I’ve never been disappointed. Seeing them play a live set with Ray Barbee is pretty much mind blowing. Ray plays the guitar like he rides a skateboard—full of style and with a smile on his face the whole time. Watching them play music together is almost like taking part in a heated skate session—feeding off each other, increasing the energy as the session progresses.

In 2009 Thomas Campbell used the band in the soundtrack for his surf film The Present and later worked with The Mattson 2 directly on the recording and producing of Feeling Hands. The end result is an album that almost takes you to another place. For me, this album could easily be the soundtrack for an aimless Sunday afternoon cruise through downtown on my skateboard.