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Album Review

Transcriptions is a two-step collaboration between two major names of the experimental ambient scene. Step one: Stephan Mathieu transcribed old 78 rpms and wax cylinders to digital audio, treating the signal in real time. Step two: Taylor Deupree added his own sonics, mainly analog synths and acoustic strings. The result is a gorgeous piece of work shimmering with the surface noise of those old recordings (and that is pretty much all we hear of them) and the quiet tones of Deupree's contributions. The album doesn't as much play on the contrast between antiquated and modern, as it unpretentiously integrates both. There is another contrast between the ruffling textures of the wax and shellac, and the clarity of Deupree's tones. Immersive and evocative, this album sounds new despite the source materials it uses and the fact that this kind of thing has been done before (by Deathprod, for instance). Mathieu and Deupree achieve a commanding level of beauty and serenity on this CD. Released in a wallet-size sleeve on 12k's Spekk imprint. ~ François Couture, Rovi


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