LP £17.99 MMXII
Gatefold LP + DL on Stephan Mathieu's new Schwebung imprint. Smog/Bill Callahan reinterpretations.
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- Palimpsest by Sylvain Chauveau & Stephan Mathieu
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Having talked about collaborating for a while, Stephan Mathieu and Sylvain Chauveau finally got around to doing so on this here LP, which is a Smog tribute of sorts, although these interpretations of ol’ Willy Callahan’s dour neofolk bear very little resemblance to the original material.
Mathieu began the project by assembling piano, spinett, Farfisa, zither, French horn, viol, as well as recordings of a viol quartet he had written in 2008, into blurred, dreamy dronescapes with slow-moving, shimmering melodies and warm layers of static rumble, sometimes with snatches of field recordings in the background. When he heard the recordings, Chauveau had the idea of adding vocals using the lyrics from classic Smog songs instead of further instrumentation, and that’s exactly what he did.What results is a blurry melodic drone-drift with Chauveau’s sleepy baritone poking out from the mist delivering the Smog lyrics, which are sung although the melodic structure is somewhat loose to say the least. It’s much more of an ambient drone record than a Smog tribute so if your purchase is informed purely by your love of Smog then be warned that this is mostly drone and hiss and rumble. Very peaceful drone and hiss and rumble, though. It’ll sound lovely in the middle of the night when you’re having trouble sleeping.
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