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Stephen Walter - Monocline
01/12/2007

Stephen Walter isn't a new name for zymogen listeners as we already heard his collaboration with David Velez aka Lezrod on Data Transfer (zym007). In that track ("Ramute") there were evident recalls of his past works, in fact Stephen (under the monicker SW) had produced two idm gems for Retropublik some years ago, but since then nothing came out...until Monocline, a complete change of direction.
This album has a solid concept behind it, explained by the title; Monocline is a term to indicate "a geologic structure in which all layers are inclined in the same direction".
These tracks could be interpreted as these different layers which match up in the monocline fold...composed with different simple elements, at last, are a totality of abstract substance.
Music floats as a "unicum" and simply shifts, track after track, into various basic components: melody, deep silences, found sounds and pure sine waves.
"Newheart", "Before your Eyes" and "Rising" are emotive tracks built on warm pads moving through melodies in a complete absence of rhythm, very simple formula though, but the care which Stephen used to compose these melodies makes this simplicity something special.
The other side of the album is darker and more introspective: subtle piano notes sound in "Tone", random choir samples are matched with mechanical silences during "Green Shift", while "Section 1" and "Section 2" play with radio recordings and distant echoes of synthetic melodies.
The concept of the album will be cleared up only at the end, as every plane will collide in "Rising" and only one feeling will remain...serenity, the ideal monocline fold of everyone's life.

Artwork

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Track List:

  • 01. Newheart
  • 02. Red Shift
  • 03. Tone
  • 04. Green Shift
  • 05. Section 1
  • 06. Section 2
  • 07. Before You Eyes
  • 08. Rising

Artwork:

Download ZIP file from zymogen.

License:

Music:
© Stephen Walter
© Zymogen

Cover Artwork:
© Laurent Batailley
© Zymogen

This work (audio tracks, cover, text) is licensed under a creative commons license.

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Reviews for this release

liebhaber entspannter klänge kommen an zymogen schon lange nicht mehr vorbei. hat sich doch dieses label zu einem, sagen wir mal vorzeigebeispiel für elektronische musik jenseits von schubladen und scheuklappen entwickelt. im nun elften release (die glashouse-serie mal außen vor gelassen) spendiert uns stephen walter neun experimentell angehauchte meisterwerke die ihresgleichen suchen.
monocline ist irgendwo zwischen soundscapes und dunklem ambient angesiedelt und erzählt eine geschichte mit melodiösen und warmen bewegungen. radioaufnahmen, piano und chor-samples runden das release sauber ab. genial!
kenner wissen es schon, ein ende ist nicht in sicht und freuen sich schon genau wie ich auf immer neue geschichten vom italienischen label. hoffentlich noch ganz viele!
Kreislauf e-zine / 12 Feb 2007

Far from ::das interspects or ::recapulatory (both for Retropublik), far also from last year collaboration with David Velez (::data transfer of Lezrod for zym.) is coming this album of Stephan Walter, a release inaugurating a "conceptual mutation" for the label of Modena. Yes, it should be said , through the "poeticlinical" camera objectives of Mario Aldovini, we were used to move in some botanical mental walks, looking sometimes to rare growing plants under the beneficent protection of glasshouses in form of jewel cases … Then now are coming the minerality times for zymogen (with a nice contribution of Laurent Batailley), and Stephen Walter is the first craftsman invited to this new approach on things.
Abstraction and cold fusion (by opposite to the traditional scheme) seem to be the main abjectives and qualities which come first on mind through ::monocline, and "new heart" which opens the release is a slow imersion in apparent traditional ambient soundscapes. Like a second layer with the general matter, “red shift”, which follows, reinforces this feeling of descriptive slow dematerialization. No time to come back (where?) , impresses with solemnity, "tone" invits us to go deeper. Then from now, one thing is certain, nobody will remain insensitive with the mostly impressive and enigmatic density of “green shift” opening a second phase, and introducing two "section ", where we cross some reminiscences of reality posed on a particularly emotional harmonic texture, delicately interweaving. "before you eyes" still plays with some emotional figures, as an overflight with telescopic glance. Then "rising" which is ending the netaudio, is a kind of revelation, the result of an introspective "emulsion" of senses and, from now, so far from any archaeological or sedimentary layers.
the first beautiful stone in a beautiful garden.
Thierry Massard / 16 Jan 2007

Zymogen es uno de estos sellos que se toma sus lazamientos con calma, les gusta preparar los discos a conciencia y que todo salga bien. Esto se nota en la tremenda calidad de todo lo que publican, desde el primer hasta el último trabajo, que es el que nos ocupa.
Stephen Walter se estrena con su primera referencia en solitario y nos muestra su electrónica experimental vestida de ambient. Un trabajo para relajarse y dejarse llevar por los sonidos. Como siempre, un 10 para zymogen.
Oír para creer / 14 Jan 2007


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