Review

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.

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