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Album Review

Stephan Thelen e Fabio Anile: Music for Piano and Strings

Read "Music for Piano and Strings" reviewed by Mario Calvitti


Avevamo salutato con entusiasmo World Dialogue, il primo lavoro del chitarrista americano (ma residente in Svizzera) Stephan Thelen dedicato alle sue composizioni per quartetto d'archi che traducono in un linguaggio minimalista contemporaneo reminiscente di Steve Reich i suoi principi compositivi basati sull'utilizzo estensivo di poliritmi e finora applicati in chiave rock dal suo gruppo SONAR e nei progetti solistici sfociati nella serie Fractal Guitar. In quella occasione ci augurammo di poter ascoltare altre opere nello stesso ambito, e dopo poco ...

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Album Review

Fractal Sextet: Fractal Sextet

Read "Fractal Sextet" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


In the over two-decade-old “movement" that's come to be known as Swiss Minimalism, guitarist Stephan Thelen has pushed himself to the fore, both with his group SONAR and in solo projects. In recent years, he's been astonishingly prolific (releasing five albums from 2021-2022 alone). With recent group work in Sonar being expanded to include guitarist David Torn, his Fractal Guitar album series (Moonjune, 2019, 2021, 2022) garnering critical acclaim, live albums, Bill Laswell remixes, and his World Dialogue (Rare Noise, ...

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Liner Notes

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Sextet

Read "Stephan Thelen: Fractal Sextet" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Swiss composer/guitarist Stephan Thelen's two Fractal Guitar albums were largely multi-tracked affairs, involving considerable file sharing. The idea of organizing a band to perform the music live may have been inevitable. The resulting Fractal Sextet is an international project consisting of guitarist Jon Durant (USA), keyboard player and composer Fabio Anile (Italy), bassist Colin Edwin (UK), drummer Yogev Gabay (Israel), percussionist Andi Pupato (Switzerland), and Thelen on guitar and programming.The original plan was to get at least the ...

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Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 3

Read "Fractal Guitar 3" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Guitarist/composer Stephan Thelen presents the third installment of his Fractal Guitar series. Like the previous albums, the emphasis is on multiple guitars, layered in kaleidoscopic arrangements based on his compositions and guitar playing, but significantly colored by the contributions of his collaborators. This edition was also influenced by the other albums that he was working on simultaneously: Transneptunian Planets with J. Peter Schwalm, Eivind Aarset, Tim Harries and Manuel Pasquinelli (RareNoiseRecords, 2022); Fractal Sextet with Jon Durant, Fabio Anile, Colin ...

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Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes

Read "Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Guitarist & composer Stephan Thelen's experimental guitar-fest Fractal Guitar (MoonJune Records, 2019) was followed by Fractal Guitar Remixes And Extra Tracks (MoonJune Records, 2019), a substantially fresh look at the material, as well as an expansion. For the sequel Fractal Guitar 2 (Moonjune Records, 2021) Thelen produced an even more radical approach to contemporary guitar-driven music. The remixes are also a step beyond. To start with, the album could just as well have been titled “Point Of Inflection ...

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Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 2

Read "Fractal Guitar 2" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Guitarist and composer Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar (MoonJune Records, 2018) found him stepping outside of his role in the band Sonar in a big way. An absolute feast of multiple guitars with electronic effects, live looping and soundscaping, it also featured a star-studded group of guest guitarists (not to mention a grooving rhythm section). The good news is that almost all of them are back for the second installment, along with some new friends. The original album was largely created ...

Album Review

Salvo Lazzara & Pensiero Nomade: Materia e Memoria

Read "Materia e Memoria" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff


Fonosfere è una costola della label Dodicilune creata con l'intento di aprirsi alle musiche del mondo e testimoniarne diversità e specificità antropologica. Non sappiamo dire se Materia e Memoria centri pienamente questo obiettivo. Sicuramente ci sembra un lavoro aperto e trasversale dove confluiscono diverse suggestioni e disparate influenze stilistiche e di genere. Vi si ritrovano le atmosfere algide e dilatate, timbricamente sofisticate, fatte conoscere al mondo intero dalla new wave scandinava (Mikkelborg, Rypdal, Molvaer e compagnia). E pure le manipolazioni ...


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