Quality Hotel

Stephan Mathieu, Radboud Mens, Janek Schaefer, Timeblind

The results are spectacular… e/i magazine, USA

Collaborative project, recorded during Mutek 2002.


  • Label: Mutek_rec
  • MTK CLB02
  • 2003
  • UCC 777078900227
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 95 g

On the web



This recording is the second in a series produced during Mutek. It symbolizes our desire to foster meetings and collaborations amongst artists during their stay in Montréal for the festival. During the 2002 edition of Mutek, four artists invited by the festival decided to repeat the experience of turning a hotel room into a sound laboratory. The pieces on this record were created on a sunny june morning, and they exhibit an acute sense of improvisation and a fine degree of complicity amongst the participants. The resulting CD contains seven piece of dense, sometimes harsh, sometimes relaxing, electronic experiments. And tomorrow’s in another hotel room.

Artists informations: Quality Inn is a stimulating journey into the mind of its authors. Thanks to the musicians, Stephan Mathieu (GER), Radboud Mens (NL), Janek Schaefer (UK) and Timeblind (USA), who, gathered at the Quality Hotel, were able to transpose this intimate moment and fertile exchange into unique and stimulating compositions. All four composers are renowned artists. In the last years, Stephan Mathieu (Ritornell, Brombron, Orthlorng Musork, Fällt) has offered major compositions to our delicate ears. Janek Schaefer (Sirr, Fat Cat) produces on his AudiOH! label the most intriguing vinyl pressings and exquisite audio works comining field recordings and fine audio manipulations. Radboud Mens directs the amazing vinyl label ERS and produces minimal rythmics on various labels. Finally Timeblind defies any categorization surprising listeners at every new releases (Orthlorng Musork, ). Their meeting at Mutek had to happen. The result is far beyond expectations… for your ears only.

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In the press


Christopher Murphy, e/i magazine, no. 3, June 1, 2004

The second in a series of live recordings produced during Montréal’s Mutek Festival, Quality Hotel features the combined talents of Stephan Mathieu, Radboud Mens, Janek Schaefer and Timeblind flexing their collective sonic muscle. Recorded in Mens’ hotel room, the scene was a solid mass of cabling, four artists linked umbilically as they coaxed their machines to life, gently easing sound into the atmosphere of a sunny June morning. Listening to the album arouses memories of warm summer days in Montréal: friends meeting and exchanging ideas freely, music trickling from laptops into an overworked mixing desk, Schaefer manipulating his twin-armed turntable and simultaneously adjusting settings whilst Chris (Timeblind) Sattinger struggled to get his recalcitrant laptop to co-operate. The result: 48 generous minutes of warm melodies occasionally surfacing above a sea of hesitant and gentle static. The tracks, numbered after the hotel’s floors, are a series of calm meditations, a suite of crystalline studies that unfurl gently, bearing all the characteristics of the artists’ trademark sounds, a perfect balance resulting from rich improvisatory dialogue, After a gentle opening, Fourth Floor sees staccato pulses emerge from a gently wielding hiss before fading to the machine hum of Seventh Floor, a growing chord punctuated by low-end grumble and shimmering pinpricks. By Ninth Floor we’re in full flow, elegiac chords drifting momentarily before collapsing into an ocean of sibilance-old vinyl at its glorious best. The closing track, Eighteenth Floor, sees a distant melody dissolving amidst a spacious digital landscape of pulses and glitches, its 16 minutes easing gently out to create a silently embracing void. Mathieu, Mens, Schaefer and Timeblind coax their machines into a beautiful display of restraint and mutual respect. The results are spectacular and, one hopes, not the last of these spontaneous hotel room encounters.

The results are spectacular…


Frans de Waard, Vital, no. 379, July 9, 2003

For many Mutek is Sonar’s little sister in North America. Similar music, but because of the smaller size, maybe a more friendly approach. In 2001 Goem played there, and they took the chance to work on their Abri CD in their hotel room. Other artists from the festival shared rooms next to Goem, and dropped by to see what they were doing. After some explaining, some of the artists used the Goem set up to do their Goem (re-?) mixes. A CD was released later on, Gast on the Mutek side label. This idea of using hotel rooms for artists in transit was further explored in 2002, when Radboud Mens, Stephan Mathieu, Janek Schaefer and Timeblind decided to do some music together which is now released as Quality Hotel (just like Abri a name of a hotel in Montréal). It’s a bit different then the Goem CD, in that respect that Gast still sounds like Goem, but in the hands of others. Quality Hotel is the result of editing the finest moments from probably several hours of improvising music together. It’s hard to tell who did the final selection, but my guess it’s Stephan Mathieu having a big hand in this. I don’t hear Radboud Mens crazy minimal techno, Timeblind’s hip hop inspired rhythms and from Janek we hear his turntable, but it’s very much incorporated in the total. Leaves the warm crackles of Mr. Mathieu, still one of the more refined musicians when it comes to warm glitches, and it seems to me that he has a firm hand in editing this album. It’s subdued ambient like music, with occassional crackles and hiss, maybe even an odd bang here and there (although rhythm is altogether not a theme here). Held back and refined, warm and glitchy. There is a lot of improvisation going on between people with laptops, but it not always reaches great height. Here’s one that matters.