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stephan mathieu - un coeur simple (album preview)

Experimedia with Scup on February 21, 2013 16:51

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    *Excerpts from the album. Now available from Experimedia.net.* Like a symphony melted by a bank of reverb units, Stephan Mathieu's albums bask in a mass of golden hued tone. It's as if there's a grand melody to be shared or a romantic harmony right around the corner, but Mathieu only hints at these moments and opts to carefully obscure them instead. Listeners of recent releases such as "Palimpsest," a collaborative LP with Sylvain Chauveau, or "A Static Place," a 12k missive, will surely recognize the bright ribbons of drone that are brought to the fore on "Un Coeur Simple." Yet, this release on Baskaru stemmed from an entirely different place: a soundtrack for a play based on a Gustave Flaubert novel. There are also moments that he lets the source material bare its origin a bit more, such as the crackle-ridden opera on "Devenir Sound" and the classical plucks and birdsong on "Felicite." Cumulatively "Un Coeur Simple" still holds the resounding features that have made Mathieu a recognized name in the experimental world, and that in itself is a reason to revel in its radiance. – Ryan Potts, Experimedia

    Stephan Mathieu's latest album Un coeur simple features music made for a play based on Gustave Flaubert's novel by the same title (known in the English world as "A Simple Heart") and first published in 1877 as part of the book Trois Contes (Three Tales). That setting – a modern rereading of an old tale, which at the time stood as a character study of Flaubert's contemporaries – is just perfect for Mathieu's music.

    For, you see, our sound artist's approach for the past decade has relied on a fascination for the past expressed through cutting-edge tools. Early instruments and obsolete music media (wax cylinders, 78rpm records) are central to his sound world, a world he weaves and refines, paradoxically, on a computer.

    This album is a perfect match between Flaubert's Felicity, a love-deprived maid subjugated by religion and fascinated by a parrot from America, and Mathieu's delicate yet intriguing soundscapes, which includes bits of recordings of religious and Medieval music. In other words, on Un coeur simple, Mathieu's art achieves a new level of... felicity.
    Stephan Mathieu is a self-taught electroacoustic music composer. Since his debut album in 1999, he has released 30 albums on a number of labels such as Orthlong Musork, Fällt, Die Schachtel, Crónica, Dekorder, Minority, Line, and 12k. He has worked with Sylvain Chauveau, Robert Hampson (Main), Taylor Deupree, and David Sylvian, among others.

    Released by: baskaru
    Release/catalogue number: karu024cd
    Release date: Feb 21, 2013

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