stephan mathieu The Falling Rocket (double LP, £21.95)label: Dekorder
'The Falling Rocket' is Stephan Mathieu's first full-length album for Dekorder after releasing two highly-acclaimed 10" singles for the label in 2011 and 2009. It follows a series of recent collaborative works with Robert Hampson (in the reformed Main on Editions Mego), David Sylvain, Tashi Wada and the Smog songbook 'Palimpsest' with Sylvain Chauveau on his own Schwebung imprint. Here, Mathieu uses a similar setup as in Main, performing realtime arrangements on the Farfisa VIP 233 organ, mechanical gramophone, a Hohner Electronium and Radio, with the addition of Caro Mikalef's ebowed Phonoharp on one track. The recordings are densely layered into massive, seemingly liquid clusters of pure sound with the original instruments' voices reduced to a vague afterglow. At times they're not unlike the overtone-rich Walls Of Sound of Glenn Branca and Phill Niblock, with ghost choirs appearing out of nowhere. Tracks like 'Teide 1' are among the most roaring and brute pieces Mathieu has ever recorded but there's also an almost pastoral quietness in tracks like 'Deneb' and the album as a whole is one of his most accomplished works. Even though Mathieu uses tone clusters rather than conventional melodies there's still a rich harmonic and hallucinatory quality inherent to his compositions. This is true cosmic music without the capital K. The record comes in a beautiful gatefold jacket designed by Caro Mikalef of Argentinian Studio Cabina. Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, pressed at Pallas.
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