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Album Review

As befits a work inspired by architecture, and especially the work of an artist who worked with sheet metal, there's nothing soft on Stabiles. Stewart Walker's first LP is a collection of ten stark tracks focused almost completely on the interplay between several different percussion lines with a small amount of echo applied to achieve the illusion of three-dimensional space. Except for faraway synth on a few tracks, every sound source is angular and incredibly precise. In a similar fashion to other minimal-techno architects (Rob Hood, Plastikman, Steve Stoll), Walker makes the most of his productions, weaving a half-dozen spare parts into complex, fascinating patterns that, in the end, don't even need accoutrements to sound great.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Sound sculpture is an overused analogy in music circles, especially techno, but it becomes a fitting term to use for the productions of Stewart Walker. Influenced by the work of Alexander Calder, a sculptor of large outdoor pieces called "stabile" (abstract mobile-like pieces made of sheet metal), Walker composed a set of stark, hypnotic tracks of minimalist techno for his first full-length, released on Mille Plateaux in 1999. Growing up in Atlanta, Walker listened to the Beatles and played guitar...
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Stabiles, Stewart Walker
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