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Stephan Mathieu backstage at Instal 02

Stephan Mathieu

Stephan Mathieu

In its essence, Stephan’s work is obsessed with the process of recording, the abstraction of an original sound and how it is always distorted and augmented upon playback. His work focuses in on the static hiss and background noise of recording and pushes it to the fore. In doing so he creates some of the most beautiful electronica you are likely to hear, warm and gently swelling, subtle and emotive: there’s beautiful obsession in his theory and if you like the minor key work of the Warp stable then you really should know about this guy.


“When I started with digital music it was mainly for the reason that I wanted to produce my drums in the way I wanted them to sound. Being involved in that process, the first thing I saw was that there are so many musical possibilities inside of a natural sound, so I immediately forgot about giving constructed beats a try and continued with what I did by playing drums with my hands and body, a music of sound.”

“Even today, the computer remains just one component of a broad, interlinked array of methodologies, rather than the be-all and end-all. I don’t work with any external electronic or digital sound-producing media like synths or midi gear. I’m interested in creating a possible essence of certain sounds, or even of an existing piece of music. I’m not interested in computer music or creating sound with the computer. I want to have the spirit of the source I’m processing in the music I’m creating.”

“In general I love a certain pop appeal, especially in abstract musics, and even the other way ‘round, like with Radiohead. I think their music is so beautiful, and in a strange way it’s very abstract for the world of pop. It’s nice to think that there are so many people running around these days with the same sound in their heads that there is in mine.”

Stephan Mathieu in an interview with Philip Sherburne in The Wire, 2001.

We started documenting our events in 2003 so unfortunately there is no video or audio documentation of this performance. If you have a bootleg or any photos you’d like to share with us, we would love to see them: get in touch with us here.

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