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Stephan Thelen 'Fractal Guitar 2'

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    Posted: 19 Mar 2021 at 8:42pm

STEPHAN THELEN 'FRACTAL GUITAR 2'
MoonJune Records 
STEPHAN THELEN
Fractal Guitar 2 

stephanthelen-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/fractal-guitar-2

Fractal Guitar 2 is an instrumental album that features the multi-layered, atmospherically dense and polyrhythmic tapestry for which is Sonar is well known, but focuses much more on the sonic and ambient possibilities of the electric guitar. The minimal groove aspect of Sonar is still present, but in a much more progressive rock context. In the liner notes for Fractal Guitar , 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. ” 

Stephan Thelen reports: “In November 2019, I was in San Francisco recording tracks with Henry Kaiser, Andy West (Dixie Dregs) and Chris Muir. When I flew back home, I realized that I already had some great material for a new Fractal Guitar album. Because of the pandemic that soon arrived, the album was created almost entirely during lockdown. I would usually start with an odd-meter groove and add textures, guitar parts and keyboard patterns. Then, I would send this groove to (guitarists) Markus Reuter, David Torn, Jon Durant, Barry Cleveland or Bill Walker, depending on whose style I though would fit best. Slowly, the pieces started to take shape. The next step was recording the drums in a studio and I was lucky to have two master drummers, Manuel Pasquinelli and Andy Brugger, who both did a great job bringing these often complex and polyrhythmic grooves to life. The last step was adding percussion (played by Andi Pupato), additional keyboards (played by Fabio Anile) and bass (played by touch guitarist Stefan Huth). The album was mixed by Benjamin Schäfer & Markus Reuter in Berlin during August 2020 and mastered by Alexandr Vatagin in Vienna during September 2020.“  

stephanthelen-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/fractal-guitar-2

Stephan Thelen is American born Swiss who composes, produces and performs music at the fringes of rock, jazz, experimental, progressive, ambient and minimal 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 polyrhythmic music that fuses a rigorous minimal concept with the power of a rock band and the sensitivity of a jazz combo. 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”.


01 COSMIC KRAUTROCK 14:08 

Markus Reuter: touch guitar U8, soundscapes 
Jon Durant: electric guitar 
David Torn: electric guitar, live looping 
Bill Walker: electric guitar, live looping, feedback 
Stefan Huth: touch guitar AU8 (bass) 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Andy Brugger: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, choppy organ, granular synth, programming 

02 FRACTAL GUITAR 2 7:58 
Markus Reuter: touch guitar U8 
Jon Durant: fretless guitar 
Bill Walker: lap steel 
Barry Cleveland: 6 & 12-string guitar, filtered guitar 
Stefan Huth: touch guitar AU8 (bass) 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, fractal guitar, formant swell 

03 MERCURY TRANSIT 12:03 
Jon Durant: electric guitar, VCS3 guitar 
Barry Cleveland: bowed guitar, revox loops 
Markus Reuter: soundscapes 
Stefan Huth: touch guitar U8 (bass) 
Fabio Anile: keyboards 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Andy Brugger: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, e-bow, particles, keyboards, programming 

04 LADDER TO THE STARS 14:54 
Henry Kaiser: electric guitar 
Chris Muir: electric guitar, live looping 
Markus Reuter: touch guitar U8, soundscapes 
Jon Durant: filtered and sliced cloud guitar 
Fabio Anile: electric piano 
Andy West: bass guitar 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, keyboards 

05 CELESTIAL NAVIGATION 12:29 
Markus Reuter: touch guitar U8, soundscapes 
Jon Durant: fretless guitar 
Bill Walker: electric guitar, lap steel 
Stefan Huth: touch guitar U8 (bass) 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, e-bow, particles, keyboards, programming 

06 POINT OF INFLECTION 12:12 
David Torn: electric guitar, live looping 
Jon Durant: fretless guitar, cloud guitar 
Barry Cleveland: 6 &12-string guitars, bowed guitar, chopped guitar, fuzz orchestration 
Markus Reuter: touch guitar U8, soundscapes 
Stefan Huth: touch guitar S8 (bass) 
Andi Pupato: percussion 
Andy Brugger: drums 
Stephan Thelen: electric guitar, granular synth 

Produced by Markus Reuter & Stephan Thelen. 

Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic for Moonjune Records 
℗ & © Moonjune Music/2021 

All tracks written by Stephan Thelen except: "Ladder to the Stars" written by Stephan Thelen & Fabio Anile and "Point of Inflection" written by Stephan Thelen & Barry Cleveland. 

Recorded at various locations across Europe and North America between November 2019 and July 2020. 

Recording engineer at MegaSonic, Oakland, California: Jeremy Goody. 

Andy Brugger’s drums recorded by Reto Muggli at Powerplay Sudio B, Zürich, Switzerland. 

Manuel Pasquinelli’s drums recorded by Benno Kaiser at his studio in Aarau, Switzerland. 

Post-production and mix by Benjamin Schäfer & Markus Reuter for Unsung Productions, Berlin, Germany, August 2020. 

Mastered by Alexandr Vatagin in Vienna, Austria, September 2020. 

David Torn appears courtesy of ECM Records.

 

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