Random Number

Hometown: Leeds
Members: Matthew Robson

Details: Randomnumber is Matt Robson, a stalwart of the Leeds underground for some nine or ten years, Robson first cut his teeth in girl/boy Riot Grrrl outfit Coping Saw. After a string of releases and a couple of European excursions the band split. Robson soon found his drumming skills in demand for the infamous post mathrock outfit Rauschen.

Robson may well be best known for his 18 months of drumming action for Hood, which culminated in the recent release of Home Is Where It Hurts on Domino Records.

After a less than pleasant divorce with Hood, Robson had time to focus on the increasing expansion of his solo electronic project – randomnumber – which by this point had already scored a release with the ultra-hip CDR label Fencing Flatworm Recordings. “New Global Vulgar” was the lo-fi digital soundtrack to overeducated underemployed working class kids marooned on the postmodern virtuality of Britain in the 21st century, like a punch up between Merzbow, Aphex Twin, fugazi and Wu Tang Clan, New Global… was as angry at the world as it was deflated by it, folk art gone digital, and the culmination of what could be done with a sampler, a computer and a knackered 4-track with only the flimsiest grasp of the technology involved.

As enjoyable as it was to tread similar footsteps to the Berlin DHR aesthetic, Robson started to become interested in the arcane mysteries of melody, Huddle One a collaboration with Fencing Flatworm labelmate Straight Outta Mongolia car crashed pop pianos and drill n’bass craziness into a 7” of slightly confused crunchcore dementia. The noise for noise sake approach ended here.

The epic “Leopold B” (a concept song about James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom who has a lengthy psychedelic episode in Ulysses) proved to be a vital bridge between the noise of yore and the more melodic territories of the contemporary random material, it’s the closing track on the forthcoming The Fact That I Did EP for Rock Action Records, trading slightly in the Mogwai marketplace, where more fuzz means less fuss.

The rest of the Ep is taken up by more recent outings showing a more measured, though equally beat mangled randomnumber. Discontents marries stadium electric pianos, operatic divas and athletic beats in an ongoing musical narrative where the linear dynamics of dance music are kicked into the dustbin marked “tedious”.

Current Label


Rock Action Discography

rockactcd09 – The Fact That I Did (2002)

1. discontents
2. move quickly through your urban logic
3. simple setbacks see us through
4. leopold b