I was sitting in the waiting room. Waiting. The only external factors affecting my senses were the parallel lines of the desks and the chairs, the subdued colors of the withered walls, and the music of Stephan Mathieu in my headphones. I looked over to the clock, and the hand stood still. I turned my head sideways, squinted, and waited. Finally the hand moved. One second has passed. Then the parallel lines began to move, the chairs rippled against the desks, and the colors of the walls bled onto the carpet. My presence smiled, exited the waiting room, and slammed shut the door. I snapped out of my trip, as the clock has jumped ahead one meager second. The music on Radioland has a tendency to spread through reality its invisible tentacles of sound and invade every frequency with its incredibly thick palette, turning inaudible noise into sound, into music, into white noise again.
Radioland is Mathieu’s fifth full length release. And here’s the kicker – it has been ‘exclusively based on real-time processed shortwave radio signals‘, down-casting the higher frequency wavelengths to an audible spectrum of the human ear. Radioland is a limited release on a Milan (Italy) based Die Schachtel label. It is shipped on a transparent disk, Plexiglas body, with a clear acetate multi-fold cover, and appears to be already sold out on Boomkat. German born Stephan Mathieu, has been working with digital and analog processing techniques for more than a decade. His work is well known with an extensive discography concentrating on experimentation with sound, audio installations, and unique live performances. Mathieu’s previous full length studio release was The Sad Mac (Vectors, 2004), followed by a collaboration with Janek Schaefer on Hidden Name (Crónica, 2006), and a single half-hour long recording of Radioland which was released by TouchRadio mp3 podcast series (Touch, 2006).
The album is a highly recommended headphone experience, available as a digital FLAC download, if you can not get your hands on a limited hard copy. One thing for sure – this isn’t drone music. It’s macroscopic sounds fusing together into a grandiose orchestra. Another favorite of 2008.