San Mateo bends soundscapes and fuzzy rhythms, filtered through film grain and lo-fi aesthetics. The thread of remembrance and innocence guides San Mateo as warm emotion and intention emanate from the electronics. These songs are irresistibly melodic while strangely familiar, steeped in a tingling feeling of a shadow caught by the corner of an eye.
In a time of increased anxiety — fraught with divisiveness, depression, and addiction — San Mateo has turned to the notion of the Sonet Ring. A Sonet Ring is a term used to describe a healing ring. When the traffic breaks in one direction it automatically resolves to move in another. Though San Mateo's Sonet Ring EP was inspired by our modern anxiety there is a silver lining of hope surrounding it. Things will eventually resolve to the desired resolution.
The theme is evident with "polywater," a song that ominously surges at a slow pulse until a reassuring bell-like melody shines like a faint beacon. "re-evolver" is even more mysterious, hinting at something hidden as arpeggiated synthesizers and layered strings search for clues. A short detour is offered through "haliphon" and its otherworldly nursery melodies, and "terra incognito" is a deciphered sign with directions to home.
As a whole, the songs of the Sonet Ring are uneasy and cautious yet hopeful and expectant. San Mateo paints a future not mired in the past but better for it. The swirls of synthesized sound evoke a measured feeling, anticipating things to come but lightly hesitant. It's a blurred photograph fading in and out as the Sonet Ring recalibrates to the vibration of history.