Review of A Static Place [12k1064]

Norman Records (UK)

As expected, outstanding audio here from Mr Mathieu, created using early 78rpm records, mechanical-acoustic gramophones and computers. Based on that kind of setup, an affinity with the work of Philip Jeck would be a fair assumption and also correct as in many ways ‘A Static Place’ evokes similar abstract dream-lands to that of Jeck’s. The result of Mathieu’s process though is not as raw as Lord Jeck’s, probably due to the post production and spectral analysis through the additional computer processes. However he doesn’t clean things up entirely, leaving a certain amount of vinyl hiss in the mix. The sounds he achieves feel somehow comforting and familiar; blissed acousmatic soundscapes that retain an emotional depth and richness that could not have happened by mere chance. Although I’m sure the techniques used often result in happy accidents, there is a craftsmanship and skill evident in translating the raw material into something new and emotionally resonant. Those that enjoy stuff by Lawrence English, Simon Scott, The Caretaker, David Tagg, Rafael Toral, William Basinski etc. Should easily find some pleasurable listening from the lush aural tapestries of  A Static Place.

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