Stephan Mathieu

Frequency Lib

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Frequency Lib is a stunning effort by this German percussionist turned electro-acoustic composer, and it marks his second album for the experimental label Ritornell. The Mille Plateaux off-shoot specializes in abstract post-IDM diversions and heady sonic studies of avant-garde process music. Stephan Mathieu has worked with free-improvisation bandleader Butch Morris and with the post-rock group Stol, though his solo recordings reflect a scientific approach to the study of sonic detail. Frequency Lib is a computer based study broken down into 26 short vignettes. Using digital processing, he creates transformations from the source of popular recorded music, his subjects range from late-'20s recordings to ones from the year 2001. The works here are not remixes so much as re-animations of some of the ghosts of popular songs long forgotten, culminating in a dark ambient-textured music that marries vague analog melodies to the cold angular design of digital music. Those interested in Terre Thaemlitz, Achim Wollsheid, and Ryoji Ikeda will find a logical progression in forward thinking electronica on this album.

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