OTHER MUSIC REVIEWS "TRANSCRIPTIONS"
August 29 2009
Stephan Mathieu bombarded '08's year-end lists with Radioland, and I wouldn't be the least surprised to see this excellent collaboration with Taylor Deupree topping quite a few '09 lists as well. In the recent mire of mediocre drone records, Transcriptions is too good to be true. So good, in fact, that it neatly demonstrates how the depth of modern classical composition is broadening the potential and setting the bar for ambient musicians. Mathieu's approach in affecting sound from wax cylinders and 78s provides a warm, crackling, and enveloping depth at the foundation of this collaboration, and Deupree's acoustic ambient work jumps off the charts the way John Butcher's compositions defy the ear to distinguish between electronic and acoustic. Originally, this was going to be a solo Mathieu recording on Deupree's 12k label but luckily for us, these two preeminent electronic artists organically melded their sounds in an utterly engrossing feat of composition. Transcriptions embeds tactile noise deeply within each track, giving the record a hospitable familiarity in an otherwise alien soundscape. The album establishes momentum through motifs of shimmering and oscillating high end and drones that leap and undulate like threads weaving together a dense and comfortable atmosphere. Not a dull moment passes as the scope of the entire record is enthralling. Highly recommended! [BCa] (Released 2009)