Stephan Mathieu & Caro Mikalef: Radioland (Panorámica) (Line)
The latest release from Line mainstay Stephan Mathieu is a collaboration with Argentine artist Caro Mikalef. Anyone who enjoyed Mathieu’s last Line release, Remain, is in for a treat here. (If you haven’t heard Remain, I cannot recommend it enough! It’s sold out, but still available digitally.) Much like Remain, Radioland is one prolonged, slow motion track that gradually shifts focus over time. Photographs of the duo’s installation performance of the piece, posted on Line’s website, cast the duo under floods of color, changing over time. That’s pretty much how this music sounds, like the innermost haze of a Rothko painting, submerged far enough into the cloud to not even make out the fuzzy boundaries that define his paintings. But there is a comfort in that submergence, despite the finished results being slightly darker than Mathieu’s Remain. The two collaborate well, creating a slowly evolving sound that is akin to slowly phasing from one shape to another, a vibrant and mildly tense transformation that’s ongoing. For consisting almost entirely of drones, this is a surprisingly varied performance, albeit one that changes so subtly over time that one might not notice how distinctly different portions of the piece are. One need only to jump around to different start times to notice how different portions are from others. But this is best experienced, of course, start to finish, preferably not overthinking it and just letting it envelop you, taking you to another place, dark, vague and warm.