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Stephan Mathieu

Using early instruments, found sounds, and analog and digital processing techniques, German-born producer/composer Stephan Mathieu began his musical career when he moved to Berlin in 1990. He played drums and percussion in the city's improvisatory scene throughout the '90s, including an ongoing collaboration with guitarist Olaf Rupp as Stol. Toward the end of the decade, he began experimenting with electronic music. One of the first artists on Kit Clayton's Orthlorng Musork, in 1999 he released an album on the label under the name Full Swing (containing edits of material by Clayton, Yo La Tengo, Ekkehard Ehlers, Monolake, and others) as well as two albums on Mille Plateaux sublabel Ritornell. The Halloween 2000 release Wurmloch Variation based itself on an 11-minute piano recording, "Wormloch," and simply consisted of five variations of the song as models of the original theme. Mathieu has stayed active as a collaborator, releasing albums with Janek Schaefer, Si-{cut}.db, Taylor Deupree (issuing solo material on Deupree's 12k label), David Sylvian, Sylvain Chauveau, and many others. Mathieu's 2008 album Radioland was based on his work with processed shortwave radio signals. Since 2008, his work has incorporated a variety of non-electronic instruments, such as the virginals (a Renaissance instrument similar to a harpsichord), zither, violin, sruti box, and others. Mathieu has also made use of gramophones, drawing from his extensive collection of 78-rpm recordings. In 2013, Mathieu contributed to Ablation, the first Main album since Robert Hampson rebooted the project. Mathieu composed the soundtrack for Tim Grünewald and Ludwig Schmidtpeter's film Sacred Ground in 2014.
© Diana Potts /TiVo
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