immovable objects
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immovable objects

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
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October 9, 2007 - Immovable Objects is the performance and recording name for multi-instrumentalist Matt Gagin. Before going solo, Gagin spent five years playing with the San Diego shoegaze band Waterline Drift.

After taking time off and working in audio production, he says he reflected on his experience and tried a different approach to writing. "After a while, when the band reaches a comfort zone with some success and with the music they are making, creativity can get more and more difficult," says Gagin. "I'm not saying I don't love playing in bands. I'm just saying it's something you have to be aware of when you are in one."

Gagin's record, Hoping It Stays Just This Broken, varies from soft, graceful electronic arrangements to moments of noisy, triumphant release. One of the major components was a Fender Rhodes piano which adds a mellow, melodic sound to match Gagin's angelic vocals.

Matt explains that he originally didn't intend to record a whole album, but he was inspired by experiences and travel. After fourteen months of writing and recording, the album was released on the independent label Hawnyawk Records. - NPR


After listening to this record over and over again, I have concluded Immovable Objects has committed musical acts of nearly if not completely perfect proportions. It would be a shame if Matt Gagin, the orchestrator and creative force behind Immovable Objects, peaked in his career after only his first track off a debut record, “hoping it stays just this broken.” But these are the risks one takes when one decides to open strong instead of saving the best for last. Beginning with an ideal accumulation of pleasing bell beats, Raindrops in Morning Traffic introduces Gagin as an upstart who is certainly destined for greatness. In the most respectful way possible, I feel this song is directly related to Yes’ gorgeous song Soon. There is no mistaking the similarity in the beautiful vocal sensitivities of Jon Anderson and the female vocal arrangement that bursts through, fashioned with metallic and washed out guitars. The song builds upon itself with an excruciating sadness tempered with sober contemplation, resulting in one of the most artful and attentive constructions I have ever heard.

Fortunately Immovable Objects continues the record with a series of intricate shoegazing songs that legitimize the boundless nature of the first track, substantiating the extent to which Gagin has developed not only his writing abilities, but also how he conceives his music in relation to the songs themselves. While he has said that he never meant to write this record, it was indeed Gagin’s ability to delineate a very cohesive and complimentary set of songs from what might have otherwise been an unassociated and incongruent heap of shoe-goo trash that allowed “hoping it stays just this broken” to be presented with such confidence.

Like the slightly uneasy experimentation of various Icelandic bands or Canadian post-rockers, Immovable Objects utilizes dynamic and textured melodies juxtaposed with noises that ascend the tonal scale, heightening the tension and increasing the ultimate payoff when they are finally released in a wall of beautiful sound. It also seems that Mr. Gagin has learned a few lessons from My Bloody Valentine. The prime importance of atmospherics is shared by these two bands, along with other environmental disciples such as Chicago’s Airiel. The drum sequencing throughout the record is sharp and never incompetent or excessively demanding. I would suggest Immovable Objects contact Jimmy LaValle and schedule a tour or collaboration, because while Gagin’s work is not identical by any measure, he would interface extremely well with The Album Leaf.

Gagin is said to have perfect pitch and a knack for an unmentionable number of instruments. While this may be true, it is certainly not central to the thesis developed by “hoping it stays just this broken.” Gagin was injured as a child resulting in an abnormal yet formative ability to recognize pitches produced by household vacuums. While this is a skill that has its advantages in identifying a physicality or structure in music already made, it does not necessarily contribute to an artist’s ability to hear or internalize the sounds that ought to be made. Who knows what relationship Gagin’s perfect pitch has to his vision for Immovable Objects, but I would say that his heightened perception is not the sole secret to his success. This attribute originates from a creative center and is expressive rather than impressive.

I am very pleased with “hoping it stays just this broken.” It shows that the music’s creator not only knows how to execute his design, but also how to enlist contributors to provide a denser flesh and a thicker blood to his vision, intended or not. When Gagin arrives in New York, I will certainly attend his show to see how his music translates from plastic to staged passion. Successful or not, Immovable Objects is an unrelenting testament to the importance and relevance of individual creativity. I anticipate that Immovable Objects will have much more to contribute. I for one encourage others to pay attention.

7/9 - Fredrickfoxtrott.com


I hope those that are residing on the Gulf Coast somehow find a way to remain safe and dry, the trickle-down effect of Hurricane Ike has already cued the rain here in KY and will continue through the weekend. I've got just the song(s) that will do the trick of soundtracking the gloomy weather outside, some moody shoegaze meets lush alternative rock instrumentals by Immovable Objects. Immovable Objects is the solo project of Matt Gagin and his debut Hoping It Stays Just This Broken is packed with emotive music that hinges on each track's depth and Gagin's ability to seamlessly layer countless musical movements. How does one man orchestrate such a big sound? Well some would call him a music man of destiny..

"His story goes something like this: At the age of eleven, Gagin was hit in the head with a baseball during a little league game. He collapsed into a nineteen hour coma, where doctors feared the worst. Instead of awakening with a harmful fallacy or never coming back to consciousness at all, he instead found that the collision to the head had caused an unique talent to unravel itself in the process. Nearly a month after the coma, while his mother was vacuuming in the adjacent room, Gagin recognized something different about the hum of the vacuum cleaner. Instead of noticing it as a generic sound that we, as human beings, have become gradually accustomed to, he recognized the musical aspect of it. “The vacuum is in F#,” he proclaimed to his mother, who was as perplexed and concerned as any mother without a musical background would be. Little did he or his family know at the time, this singular talent would be a vital aspect of his bright future."

Although he had learned how to play the clarinet at age 4, this bright future (after the coma) apparently aided Gagin in his ability to play and compose music on the violin, guitar, piano, and drums by the age of 14. His teens were full of touring his native California with various post-punk/hardcore acts until establishing and sustaining the successful act Waterline Drift for five years. Gagin wanted more creative freedom, though, and got just what he wanted in establishing Immovable Objects. His compositional skills are fully showcased throughout the entire LP but check out the awesome instrumental "James Trent" which plays directly into the closing track "Sheen" - play 'em as a one-two punch and you'll hear over 10 minutes of powerful musical expression perfect for staving off hurricanes. - I Guess I'm Floating


Lately my patience for taking in an album in a single sitting has faltered but I still found it impossible to turn away from Immovable Objects' ‘Hoping It Stays Just This Broken’. We don’t know a lot about Matt Gagin apart from the fact that he is from San Diego and used to be in a well-respected band called Waterline Drift before choosing the solo route. Gagin as Immovable Objects has crafted something really special by pulling shoegaze and dreampop patterns into a lush mosaic of sound. For the most part the lyrics are indecipherable but Gagin’s voice integrates so seamlessly with the woozy instrumentation that it matters not a jot. There is a spectral feel throughout the album, so much so that you may find yourself with eyes closed and mind racing as the music offers up a seemingly endless list of possibilities. ‘Sheen’ is the perfect closer and if you are of a certain age you may notice a nod to Slowdive early on. ‘Hoping It Stays Just This Broken’ contains reems of heartbreaking material, it may be elaborate at times but that doesn't stop it from affecting all those who come into contact with it. KD - Mp3 Hugger


wonder how Matt Gagin would react to being called an accidental child prodigy. Prodigy, with delight – but accidental? Well, his story is a unique one for sure. If I were a classic Greek playwright, I would call his tale an object of fate; a musician destined by the stars, right? After all, I do not know many other people whose ability to determine audible pitch was manufactured by an incident during a little league baseball game. Looking back now, it probably humors Gagin. His story goes something like this: At the age of eleven, Gagin was hit in the head with a baseball during a little league game. He collapsed into a nineteen hour coma, where doctors feared the worst. Instead of awakening with a harmful fallacy or never coming back to consciousness at all, he instead found that the collision to the head had caused an unique talent to unravel itself in the process. Nearly a month after the coma, while his mother was vacuuming in the adjacent room, Gagin recognized something different about the hum of the vacuum cleaner. Instead of noticing it as a generic sound that we, as human beings, have become gradually accustomed to, he recognized the musical aspect of it. “The vacuum is in F#,” he proclaimed to his mother, who was as perplexed and concerned as any mother without a musical background would be. Little did he or his family know at the time, this singular talent would be a vital aspect of his bright future.

Already somewhat familiar with instrumentation before the baseball game of his life, Gagin’s musical peak arrived once he hit his teens. Initially starting with the basics of clarinet at age 4, he knew how to proficiently play and compose music on the violin, guitar, piano, and drums by age 14. He struck up a fascination with hardcore punk music during his teen years, touring around his native San Diego area with several bands by his 19th birthday. Gagin describes this state in his life as a time of development and acquired experience, with several of his hardcore bands scoring minor label deals and fan followings. Despite the local success, he yearned for more, thus minimizing his interest in hardcore for a fondness in texturally-based indie-rock music that would draw more attention. “I felt like I wanted it to be more melodic and textural,” he said of his future path. With this ideology in mind, he gathered a few of his best friends together in 1999 and formed his first “true” band, Waterline Drift. The five-piece lasted 5 years but broke up due to the members’ separate desires to explore other projects. However, like the baseball hitting Gagin’s skull, the break-up of Waterline Drift was a blessing in disguise, as it was the beginning of Matt Gagin’s exceptional solo project, Immovable Objects.



Immovable Objects represents, in a variety of ways, the newly discovered ambitiousness of Gagin. He is no longer in a band where members bitch and moan over silly antics and songwriting becomes a chore where all members have to agree. As much as he loved playing with his best friends in Waterline Drift, Gagin felt that it was time for an artistic change. “I wanted to do something where I played a lot of different instruments and creativity wasn’t stifled by preconception or personality conflicts,” he said. His motivation to start Immovable Objects was ignited after he took a job as a Director of Audio at a cable network. After becoming fascinated with the process of production, he purchased several components of recording gear and added a few instruments (particularly a Fender Rhodes) to his ceaselessly growing arsenal. Fourteen months later, he emerges from his studio with Immovable Objects’ debut album, Hoping It Stays Just This Broken. It is one of those albums that makes you question: How the hell is this not receiving more recognition? Patience should prevail, as it is only a matter of time before the critics and fans catch up to this hidden gem.



Without an eligible picture or official web site to his name, Matt Gagin remains an elusive character. His vocals are a domineering force all throughout Hoping It Stays Just This Broken, reaching various points of falsetto and transitioned tones throughout each song. It personally reminds me of a fluid mixture between Jónsi Birgisson, Brian Wilson, and Kevin Shields; three outstanding vocalists and songwriters, to say the very least. You do not have to listen far into the album to hear his vocals in top form, as one of the many strengths in the outstanding introductory track, “Raindrops in Morning Traffic”, are Gagin’s soaring vocals. It starts out simple enough, with a xylophone gleefully sliding its way against the subdued clicks of percussion and the reflective chords of a guitar. Gagin’s lack of lyrical coherency is strongly reminiscent of Birgisson’s work, being that the sheer power of his voice substitutes for any lyrical miscommunication that is incorporated. The chorus is a powerhouse of epic proportions, using a newly added bass and several guitar-based effects to create an illusionary atmosphere that rivals even the most astonishing moments of Sigur Rós. Despite all the strengths, Gagin’s vocals remain the forefront factor. Along with his multi-instrumental flair and songwriting capabilities, it is this aspect that makes him a true talent. Translated, the song foreshadows an imminent walk home in a drunken stupor, symbolizing the regrets and fallacies that many individuals yearn for but can never seem to overcome.

Similarly to Daniel V. Snaith and his Caribou project, the electronically-minded Gagin incorporates elements of shoegaze, ambient pop, and psychedelia into his elaborate sound. A few more highlights in the fantastic (and oddly spelled) “Bad Judgement” are bursting with hooks, supplemented by a variety of subtly infectious synths that sound superb over Gagin’s vocals and those of a female who gracefully accompanies him. I am reminded of The Flaming Lips at points, though there are also shades of My Bloody Valentine in the instrumentation that allows for a soothing experience. Additionally, “Summer is a Broken Heart” mixes up several electronic aspects with glittery pop to create a summery edge that fits extremely well in the middle of this expertly crafted debut. You do not need the title to hear the sunshine vibe either; his vocals do all the work there. The haunting instrumental “James Trent” and the powerful “Sheen” are highly demonstrative of more post-rock roots, though Gagin’s grounded influences of shoegaze and ambient-pop are always never straying too far from the overall result. This, along with Gagin’s natural talent, is one of the many reasons for this spectacle of an album. Superb pitch recognition or not, I am wholeheartedly impressed. Truth be told, I have yet to find a song on Hoping It Stays Just This Broken that I am dissatisfied with. This is truly one of the most enjoyable debuts of the year. It is also one of the most shamefully overlooked too. - Obscure sound


or Matt Gagin, the only way to truly create the music that he wished was to go the solo route. After spending years playing in bands from his late teens to his mid twenties the idea of being in a band just wasn’t something he wanted to deal with anymore. After departing from his last group, shoegazers Waterline Drift, he was able to start work on his solo project Immovable Objects. A little over a year in the works, Gagin has just released his debut album under the Immovable Objects moniker called Hoping it Stays Just This Broken currently out on Hawnyawk Records.

Gagin’s musical past lies somewhat in hardcore music, however spending time in those types of bands it made him realize that melody and texture was what he wanted to focus on in his music. While touching upon this a bit in his previous band, Gagin takes his vision and pushes it a bit further as Immovable Objects adding electronic elements to it creating an even more delicate and swirling mixture of sound. One noticeable difference here though is that instead of focusing completely on creating a wall of sound, there is more emphasis on the electronics here that often times remind me of some of the better moments in Mum’s catalog. Having this accompanied with Gagin’s soft vocals and the subtlety paced build of shimmering guitar work throughout the songs seems to have worked quite well for him. Not bad at all for a record that Gagin says wasn’t even meant to be created in the first place. Thankfully for fans of shoegaze and/or dream-pop, Gagin followed through and completed Hoping it Stays Just This Broken as I am sure it will be enjoyed by most who give it a listen. - Built On A Weak Spot


Ignoring convention creates the possibility of both reward and peril. Immovable Objects’ electronic tones keep beat instead of drums, atmospheric vocals enchant, and keyboards plink out toy-piano noise. It’s almost as if Gagin took Devo, rounded off the hard edges, and (somehow) painted a watercolor sunset over the remnants, using Flaming Lips pink, and Postal Service blue.

While there’s a kinky pleasure to hearing something (good Lord, anything) except guys in T-shirts bang out the same song every band has ever played, there’s also a difference between expressing individuality and irritating the listener. Some of Immovable Objects’ electronics-laden tracks accomplish the latter.

Acoustic guitar and well-played bass ground the music, but when things settle into being comfortable and familiar, Gagin ramps up the reverb and special effects until it’s a muddled and sometimes fuzzy mess. I’m interested to see what the city’s notoriously mainstream crowd will do with this beautiful and strange offering. - San Diego Reader


Estou ouvindo meio que hipinotizado as músicas dessa banda de um homem só. Não sei se é a história maluca da vida do cara ou se é realmente o som calmo e relaxante que está me prendendo. Só sei que as músicas são ótimas!

Matt Gagin é o homem por trás do Immovable Objects. Ele é um daqueles prodígios que surgem de tempos em tempos. Quando tinha sete anos de idade foi atingido por uma bola de baseball na cabeça e ficou dezenove horas em coma. Os médicos temiam o pior, mas quando ele acordou não tinha sinal de sequelas. Ele voltou do coma com uma percepção musical fora do comum. Quando ele abriu os olhos e viu sua mãe sentada ao lado dele no hospital a primeira coisa que disse foi: “Esse aparelho está zunindo em F#“!

Bizarro!

Ele começou a aprender vários instrumentos e hoje toca de tudo. Quando tinha uns dezenove anos tocou com várias bandas de hardcore e punk rock. Depois deciciu que precisava tocar algo mais “musical” e com mais letra. Formou uma banda com seus melhores amigos e durante cinco anos foram felizes para sempre. Mas aí cada um resolveu seguir seu caminho e ele começou a produzir o primeiro CD o Immovable Objects. Ele gravou tudo sozinho num estudiozinho que tem no quarto. Legaaal!

O site oficial dele ainda não existe, mas no MySpace tem bastante informação, além de algumas músicas. Não achei nada na Wikipedia e nem no Youtube.

Não sei quando foi exatamente que ele lançou esse CD, mas parece que é coisa nova mesmo e talvez por isso não tô achando nada na net, mas podem escrever: esse cara ainda vai dar muito o que falar. Pelo menos pra mim. Eu adorei! - RIC' n Roll wordpress.com


Discography

Hoping it stays just this broken LP
Currently in production of next record

Photos

Bio

Often times what looks like a tragedy is really a blessing in disguise. So is the story of Immovable Objects. At the age of eleven Matt Gagin was hit in the face with a baseball during a little league baseball game. The result was a nineteen hour coma but when he awoke he had near perfect pitch. At first it was not apparent that anything had changed. He had been playing music since he was four, so there was no obvious sign of his new ability. Nearly a month later his mother was vacuuming the living room and he told her the vacuum was F#. She, not being a musician, didn't really understand nor think of it as special. It wasn't until later when she shared this with a musician friend whom explained the significance of pitch that she now understood the implication and scope of what the accident had done. Though there is no proof of the accident causing the pitch recognition, the circumstantial evidence is convincing. Growing up in Southern California, Gagin was born into a working middle class family. His father, a truck driver, and his mother, a postal worker, struggled to give him the tools to become a musician. starting him at the age of four with the clarinet, moving to the violin,and finally, the guitar at age eight he absorbed instruments quickly. By age fourteen he had taught himself the piano and the drums as well, and was performing in clubs in and around the San Diego area. By age eighteen he had already toured the west coast twice with two hardcore bands. " I liked hardcore and I still listen to bands like minor threat and house of suffering but I just didn't feel like punk was my place. I felt like I wanted to be more melodic and textural." This feeling lead to couple of years searching for the right musicians to form the type of band he wanted to be in. Numerous projects came and went. A few got record deals or development deals. Others, just disappeared after a few shows. Finally, in 1999, Matt put together a group of musicians that were interested in writing textural and moving songs. This group would become Waterline drift. Though not a commercially successful band, they were self sufficient due to the rise in the accessibiltiy of music on the internet. A number of tours and a growing fan base on the west coast kept the band going for five years. Even the most successful bands can't stay together forever. So, mutually they decided to end the band. This was another blessing in disguise. "It was a strange time for me. I had spent five and a half years with a band mostly playing guitar and singing. I just, sort of , unconsciously decided that I didn't really want to deal with a band anymore. While Waterline Drift was a group of some of my best friends, there was still the same bullshit that comes with being in a band. In fighting, people not showing up, arguing about the smallest detail, personality conflicts, I just couldn't do it again. I wanted to do something where I played a lot of different instruments and creativity wasn't stifled by preconception or personality conflicts." Here is where Immovable Objects begins. After taking a job as Director of Audio production at a high definition cable network Gagin started purchasing recording gear and fleshing out his already large collection of musical instruments. One main component that had been missing was a Fender Rhodes. After purchasing the Rhodes, recording started immediately. " I had no intention of really making a record I was just going to record when I felt like it . See what was coming out. If I liked it ,cool, if not then I didn't. I really just was, and still am, making music for the sake of making music." Fourteen months later he had a record that he never intended to make. " I've read on record label websites that they want you to include your successes in your bio... the only true success I have is recording music that I like and not compromising it . So, if nothing else I have that."

In 2010 Immovable Objects formed as a live four piece rock band. With the great guitar work of Paul Blamer, fluid and essential bass playing by Tim Peacock, and the powerful drumming of Ted Donovon, Immovable Objects has played numerous venues in Southern California and their sound has developed in to an intense and unpredictable live performance. Taking songs that are often recognizable in the set to new and unexpected territories has become a staple of the immovable objects live experience.