last edited in April 2008 


Radioland is Stephan Mathieu's long awaited 5th full length studio work, following his acclaimed The Sad Mac CD from 2004. Exclusively based on real-time processed shortwave radio signals, Radioland takes the listener on a carpet ride across endless, majestic shimmering landscapes. Radioland is a mesmerizing reflection on the bubble of information thats all around us, all the time, by one of the truly unique minds in today's abstract digitalia.

GENRE: electronic, drone
FORMAT: CD digipack
DESCRIPTION: Deluxe tri-fold digipack CD edition
15 euro

TRACKS (excerpts)
01 :: Raphael
02 :: Gabriel
03 :: Michael
04 :: Promede
05 :: Auf der Gasse
06 :: Licht und Finsternis zum Auge
07 :: Prolog im Himmel




Paris Transatlantic
“My father was a shortwave radio fanatic: I remember seeing the SW radios set up in his self-constructed tin-shed workshop down in our backyard, and thinking they looked somehow eerie – magical appliances that yielded their secrets slowly and patiently. Of course, I had no idea what he was really doing with those radios, beyond the bleedingly obvious (uh, listening to them); what was the purpose of his obsession? I’d say it was partly in their construction and their wiring, but I always wondered about the audio outcome, what you’d end up hearing. Shortwave radio always makes me think of channelling, as though the SW enthusiast is a conduit for the world’s knowledge: figures on the margins tapping into international broadcasts, they act as lonely receptors, the radio a strangely de-personalised, or maybe de-personalising, connection with the outside world.
With Radioland, Stephan Mathieu has snatched those signals from the air, processed them in real time and corralled them into seven compositions of misty, mysterious beauty, an unashamedly gorgeous music that transfigures everyday materials into glorious stuff: clouds of gold-spun tones, gusts of air puffing between the headphones, the eternal ringing of the tuning fork of the universe.
In its somewhat contradictory humble grandeur, Radioland recalls Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project, uncovering some primordial or primeval audio heartbeat, or an ancient strand of DNA. Like GAS, Radioland has no recourse to melody, little reliance on traditional dynamics, rather focusing in on an ever unfurling now; it’s remarkably present. I guess there’s a lot of drone music out there, whatever its origins, but plenty of it dates quickly. I can’t see that happening with Radioland – rather unlike Mathieu’s earlier frequencyLib which was very much of its time, particularly in its references to consumer electronics. Ultimately, Radioland’s key concerns aren’t its sources (radio and processing) but rather its effects – sehnsucht, the indefinable taste of memory, pastoral melancholy – a shift in focus that serves Mathieu’s growing compositional confidence exceptionally well.” Jon Dale

The Wire
“Since the turn of the century, Saarbrücken based artist Stephan Mathieu has been “looking for a simple, yet effective way to give away control” in his compositions, feeding his sonic raw material through a Max/MSP patch that performs “real-time convolution and an endless series of super long delay lines” .
Recently, instead of using plug-ins and multitracking to create the source sounds, he's taken to using a simple shortwave radio. While he might have relinguished control over his source material, Mathieu's still very much in charge when it comes to selecting and editing the finished product. It took over a year for him to handpick the seven tracks on Radioland – named after the Kraftwerk song – from a 50 gigabytes archive of high resolution drones.
Mention shortwaves and most people think of the sinister disembodied voices of numbers stations, or the dirty drizzle of 60s Stockhausen, but the sheer beauty of these slowly shifting soundscapes is as breathtaking as it is unfathomable. The music of Eliane Radigue often comes to mind, particularly the way in which one only becomes aware of change after it's already taken place, but Mathieu's palette is richer and more harmonically ambiguous. Quiet how he (or his software) chooses particular pitches, or controls the rate at which they emerge from and subsequently melt away in the overall texture, is a total mistery, and so it should probably remain.”

Dusted Magazine
“I 'm surprised I didn't hear more about this record during 2008. Oh well – I guess having an ( incredible ) Italian label release your stuff in small art editions will do that to you. No matter, as this was the most complete and fully-realized Mathieu recording to date, one that took his familiar methods of signal processing and applied them to a set of radio transitions for one of the most haunting pieces of grainy ambient music to emerge this year. ”

the Milk Factory
“ The work is not without a moment that isn't arranged and performed with evident pleasure; everything bearing the stamp throughout of its origin in Mathieu's distinctive imagination .”

BlowUP - April 2008 review

"Radioland", ovvero l'orizzonte sconfinato, la terra di mezzo del flusso e dell'interscambio continuo delle informazioni. Il luogo dove si addensa la "bolla" di dati che si stratifica (fino a trasformarsi in un organismo invisibile e (com)mutante: un oceano di segnali e di segni, un "babelfish" nebuloso e vorticoso di input e di output. Realizzato esclusivamente aliraverso il processing in tempo reale di segnali radio ad onde corte, "Radioland" segna l'atteso ritorno solista di Stephan Mathieu a quattro anni di distanza da "the Sad Mac" e rappresenta l'apocalisse dopo il crepuscolo, la calarsi dopo l'enigmatico ripiegamento neo-barocco del precedente capitolo. Si comincia con una lunga, amniotica ouverture [Raphael] che spalanca visioni da alba dei Nibelunghi: il suono si articola in un intreccio micromodulare di drones sospesi in un mare luminoso e tremolante. E' un meriggio senza fine [Raphael] che poi si increspa [Michael] ed oscilla tra le architetture Immaginarie edificate per sovrapposizione di onde radio. Le atmosfere si incupiscono [Licht uno Finsternis zum Auge] e sfiorano territori niblockiani per abbrivio minimale, prima di raggiungere l' approdo finale {Prolog im Hirnmel} in un limbo di inquietudine e lirismo. Esplorazione labirintica e sgranata del caos di codici, informazioni e media che avvolge un mondo ormai impazzito, "Radioland" è una catabasi della mente, un puzzle ipnotico e pluriverso nel quale sprofondare e dissolversi, come nei vortici sulfurei dell'Inland Empire. A Lynch tutto questo piacerebbe molto...[8]

Fallt Publishing | Audio Visual Editions
Seven tracks seized from the airwaves, Stephan Mathieu's 'Radioland' captures molten tones, effortlessly coalescing around a warm, glowing core. Mathieu states: "The music is my portrait of the vast, invisible bubble of information around us. "My main concern was to preserve the beauty of the resulting material in its pure and unaltered form, selected parts only faded in and out and otherwise taken 'as is', without any further processing or layering." Crafted using realtime processed shortwave radio signals, the result is a work of captivating beauty, a contemplative close up of the audio that surrounds us, often unnoticed, daily. Edited from a pool of over 50 GB of processed recordings there's a clear sense of careful choices and considered construction. The editing process, itself a clear extension of Mathieu's ever-evolving working method, and the final mastering - with vintage analogue quipment - picking up perfectly where 'The Sad Mac' left off in 2004. Opening with 'Raphael', Mathieu sets a tone that he carries attentively across the quiet, but captivating passage of an hour.
Tracks shimmer, take hold briefly, sparkle, then fade. Melting into one another. 'Gabriel' mesmerising for ten scintillating minutes, tones gently rising and falling, the placid pulse of the earth breathing; 'Auf der Gasse' taking the listener on an effortless meander. This is dense minimalism, utterly captivating and focused. Followers of Mathieu's work will know exactly what to expect, and the light-flecked glimmer of 'Radioland' doesn't disappoint.