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A Static Place

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Customer Reviews

Headphone Commute Review

Stephan Mathieu has been on my radar for a while now. His 2008 release on Die Schachtel titled Radioland had a profound impact on my psyche. Then there was his 2009 collaboration with 12k's own Taylor Deupree for a release on Spekk titled Transcriptions. In 2011, Mathieu managed to release two albums - there's the Remain on Line (now independently operated by Richard Chartier), and, the focus of this Sound Bytes special, A Static Place. To listen to Mathieu's latest marvel, I have to prepare myself. First - I carve out an entire hour to wholly consume the album in one take; second - I put on my favorite pair of headphones for a true sonic bliss; and third - I must close my eyes. "A Static Place is about the journey of sound," says Mathieu about the record. "Between 1928 and 1932 the earliest recordings of historically informed performances of music from the late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era were etched into 78RPM records. I used some of these records from my collection, playing them back with two mechanical acoustic HMV Model 102 gramophones. The initial soundwaves produced back then by period instruments like the clavichord, viols, lute, hurdy-gurdy are read from the grooves by a cactus needle to be amplified by the gramophones diaphragm housed in a soundbox. Those vibrations travel through the tonearm which is connected straight to the gramophones horn, which releases the music to my space. Here the sound is again picked up by a pair of customized microphones and send to my computer, to be transformed by spectral analysis and convolution processes." I'm afraid I have nothing more to add... Pure magic...

Biography

Born: October 11, 1967 in Saarbrücken, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Using early instruments, found sounds, and analog and digital processing techniques, German-born producer/composer Stephan Mathieu began his musical career when he moved to Berlin in 1990. He played drums and percussion in the city's improvisatory scene throughout the '90s, including an ongoing collaboration with guitarist Olaf Rupp as Stol. Toward the end of the decade, he began experimenting with electronic music. One of the first artists on Kit Clayton's Orthlorng Musork, in 1999 he released an...
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A Static Place, Stephan Mathieu
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