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Stefan Schwander a.k.a Harmonius Thelonious returns with his sophomore effort on Italic. I was super impressed by his debut 'Talking' so it's a pleasant surprise to see him on the review pile again so soon. 'Listen' picks up where 'Talking' left off with it's fusing of hard hitting African rhythms, American structural minimalism and quirky European sequencing sounding as fresh to my ear as i ...

CD £9.49 ITA094CD

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Listen by Harmonious Thelonious
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9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 01 February 2012

Stefan Schwander a.k.a Harmonius Thelonious returns with his sophomore effort on Italic. I was super impressed by his debut 'Talking' so it's a pleasant surprise to see him on the review pile again so soon. 'Listen' picks up where 'Talking' left off with it's fusing of hard hitting African rhythms, American structural minimalism and quirky European sequencing sounding as fresh to my ear as it did first time around. The sequencing is so intricate and melodic it brings to mind the Shangaan Electro crews programming sensibility. The tracks aren't as pacey and abrasive as on 'Talking', if anything, 'Listen' is surprising polished in it's production which takes the edge of a bit but enables Stefan to enhance the versatility of his repertoire. Opener 'Angwohnische Muziek' for example is a tropical treat and much more laidback than on previous tracks and 'Drums Of Steel' is surprisingly reserved in tempo terms. When abrasiveness is called for it's better than ever with 'Marak' being as good example - it's almost Nightrider-esque arpeggio and chunky beats insist you move your feet. Elsewhere we are treated to Congotronic grooves ramped to dance-floor intensity and hypnotic rhythmic patterns worthy of Steve Reich's ear. Digging the fact that he's still including those crowd sounds too. Excellent stuff. 


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