Guitarist and composer Stephan Thelen releases his debut album for Moonjune Records worldwide on January 18, 2019. It's an instrumental, post-progressive album co-produced by Markus Reuter (Stick Men), featuring guest appearances of many leading electric guitarists including David Torn, Markus Reuter, Henry Kaiser, Jon Durant, Bill Walker, Barry Cleveland and Matt Tate, as well as drummers/percussionists Benno Kaiser, Manuel Pasquinelli and Andi Pupato.
Stephan Thelen is American born Swiss who composes, produces and performs music at the fringes of rock, jazz, experimental and classical music. His current main project as a leader, guitarist and composer is the minimal groove band Sonar, who have quickly gained international reputation for creating a unique blend of music that fuses a rigorous minimal concept with the power of a rock band and the sensitivity of a jazz combo.
Former projects include playing guitar and electronics with Swiss ensembles Radio Osaka, License To Chill, Broken Symmetry and Root Down, producing albums (for example Andy Brugger’s No No Diet Bang and Peter Schärli Sextet), as well as composing music for many theater and film productions. The celebrated Kronos Quartet recently recorded and frequently performed Stephan's string quartet Circular Lines, a piece commissioned by the Kronos Arts Association and Carnegie Hall for a visionary project called "Fifty for the Future". The Mannheimer Schlagwerk, a percussion ensemble from Germany, also recently premiered his composition Parallel Motion.
Fractal Guitar features the atmospherically dense, polyrhythmic tapestry for which is Sonar is well known, but focuses much more on the sonic and ambient possibilities of the electric guitar. In the liner notes, Stephan Thelen writes : “After a few years of playing without effects apart from reverb in Sonar, I felt the urge to compose and record some pieces in which effects were an integral part of the music. I especially wanted to use an effect I worked with before Sonar, which I call “Fractal Guitar” — a rhythmic delay with a very high feedback level that creates cascading delay patterns in odd time signatures such as 3/8, 5/8 or 7/8. The other desire I had was to work with and to have some serious fun with a few of the many great guitarists I've met over the years to create an album that features some of the more forward-looking possibilities of the most mysterious, compelling and eclectic of all instruments, the electric guitar. ”