Stephan Mathieu + Taylor Deupree – TRANSCRIPTIONS


The story of this first collaboration (among 2009’s highest points for this reviewer), including interesting technical specs and compositional hints by the artists, can be found over at the Spekk website. Originally intended for release on Taylor Deupree’s 12k imprint, the album gradually accumulated further layers of material via Mathieu’s laptop-processed array of old records and wax cylinders, to which Deupree added guitar and synthesizer textures. Knowing the process of construction though doesn’t begin to explain how this piece touches such emotional depths; one could easily rave about the mysteries of harmonic stasis, or the gritty charm of the album’s ever-changing halos of adjacent overtones and inexplicable hisses, but this would be missing the point. Transcriptions works transformations on a sonic substance originating many decades prior to our era, and whose fundamental essence is still available for manipulation – it’s as if the duo is attempting to recapture the energy of a dying body without letting it dissipate, turning it into another, equally significant vital force. The music’s hard-to-fathom moodswings – myriads of one-second eternities, spanning a range from quietly perturbed vacillations to ductile unorthodoxy – are but one of the various reasons for its psychic impact. The others lie within you, dear listener.


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