“Hidden Name” reviewed by Sonic Arts Network

Lonely spinning giants from the experimental scene ™: German Stephan Mathieu and English Janek Schaefer share their common interest of devouring a manicured history of pasty white memories and a soup of gossamer sounds, on “Hidden Names”.

Recorded during the winter of 2005 in a Victorian void in the South of England (Manor Farm House located in Child Okeford), the two locked horns and kicked around the empty house. Amongst sun yellowed picture frames, scent heavy doors, rose coloured walls they made field recordings and used old records found in the attic of the house. They took a week to make this collection of heavenly orchestrated noise, of crackling hidden melodies which tease out of the cloth of the speakers like Lazarus resurrected.

Nostalgia bleeds and feeds in these 11 pieces.

“White Wings” is a whirl of topes that cut off the world, making it a disastrous thing to stop listening, just in case that these wires might send the heart a message of WHY. The Victorian void of enlightenment is cascaded further on “Comos”. This is a sound piece that creates a vision of a fleshly aviation menagerie, a bird version of Waco. Clashing pigeons, cooing sweeps, set against crows cawing, and roosters calling for an end to all mankind with its misunderstanding of bird flu and the cull that ensued. The birds here are Hitchcockian and non fading.

“Quartet for Flute, Piano and Cello” is a love song for the most unrequited moments in a lost room. Its see through fingers glide over ancient vinyl recordings, attic dust, and an automatic invisible turntable. It cements the territory that was pinned out previously as it confidently strides under black umbrellas instead of the silent tip toeing giggled at before. Amazing.

“Maori Love Song” is a jazz funeral for Mary Shelly trapped in a cryogenic cell as Walt Disney tries to romance her with puppet strings.

We are left squinting at the last track “The Planets”. This camouflages a sunrise under the atmospheres of individual working methodologies, and looks back at a time gone by when the sun on Albion was pure, the breeze contained no fear and men like Xavier De Maistre journeyed around their room; internal explorer becomes external tourist.

Clearly this is a device of time travel disguised as a CD.

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