Stephan Mathieu | Gigue, Live @ A-Musik | 19/20.07.00
Fällt | AB-CD
Stephan Mathieu, in typically generous fashion, made this live set available for download some time ago. Now, mastered by Marcus Schmickler and lengthened to include a second live excerpt, it appears as the inaugural release in the new Fällt Live Series.
Housed in a transparent plastic clam shell the AB-CD is striking in appearance, sporting jumbo lo-res pixelwork by Fällt designers Fehler, a reverse legend intended to be read from the underside and an apt lyrical quotation from 80s teen idols Duran Duran.
Mathieu is, of course, known to employ quotations in his music and with the titles 'Gigue' and 'Variation' perhaps more of the same is suggested. Indeed, 'Gigue' is based, apparently, on the aforementioned Duran Duran track. Not that it's obvious; the referenced pop-chart material is either buried deep within the mix or has been hammered out of all recognition.
'Gigue' bides its time, but nevertheless comes on like an approaching storm. With ever-restless sound particles creating rip-currents and eddies it takes on ever more menacing forms until, VU meters maxed out and all valves open, the listener is left sheltering amidst a frictionless maelstrom of static and hiss.
In contrast 'Variation' is one of those slices of bliss-out which Mathieu does so well (Cf. Touch @ Groovylab, Sad Mac Studies @ En/Of). After the onslaught it is like a reawakening, a new day dawning, the morning after the storm has passed.