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Stephan Mathieu The Sad Mac

Stephan Mathieu (a.k.a. Full Swing) brings neoclassical rigor to microsound and field-recording composition, lending his music a timelessness that eludes most of his peers. The Sad Mac exemplifies Mathieu‘s penchant for what some may consider holy minimalism, but it draws equally from traditional instruments and nature. The 17-minute centerpiece "Theme For Oud Amelisweerd" extrapolates fragments of Handel‘s Violin Sonatas, forging exquisitely attenuated, wavering drones that create a sweet tension and a premonition of purgatory‘s Muzak (high praise). The angelic "Nibbio" is so beautiful, its sincerity and motives seem suspect. The Sad Mac truly is a new ambient classic-it‘s the balm.

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