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Stephan Thelen - Fractal Guitar CD (album) cover


Stephan Thelen



3.99 | 47 ratings

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Special Collaborator
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Since knowing such staff being present, is there anybody out there who will seriously argue that this won't be another sophisticated prog effort? A bunch of experimental musicians is aboard here, surely a who-is-who. True to the album title the guitars rule, of course, represented by Stephan Thelen, Markus Reuter, Matt Tate, David Torn, Henry Kaiser, Barry Cleveland, Jon Durant and Bill Walker. The five songs are dominated by a looping flow with jamming character. No, not really a neo kraut rock affair. Somewhat close to the polyrhythmic Sonar sound, as one might expect, though not a simple copy-cat at all, as well provided with proper King Crimson and Stick Men ambience, amongst other influences.

Which means you definitely will recognize that Markus Reuter is involved as the co-producer. Now coming to the protagonist, STEPHAN THELEN is known for playing in the aforementioned band hailing from Switzerland, which recorded a studio album in collaboration with David Torn in 2018. Furthermore the band managed to schedule one impressive live gig at least, which was recorded and self-released under the title 'Live At Moods' in the same year. And in all conscience, with 'Fractal Guitar' Moonjune Records now have added another top notch album to the fold. Not sure though how to sum this up with words. Stylistically seen probably best described as eclectic space rock, or what? On top though comes the exceptional atmosphere.

I guess with intent it all starts a bit Pink Floyd feel-good reminiscent. The compositions are definitely accessible, on the other hand it will be an unusual experience for one or two, as the guitars are serving delay patterns based on odd time signatures. I really love their approach to let it flow with special ease. Yeah, the shortest song is knocking at the nine minute border. While two drummers are alternating, speaking of Benno Kaiser and Manuel Pasquinelli of Sonar fame, the rhythm branch varies in a pleasant manner with rock and jazz tendencies. Radiant Day turns out to be my favourite, what a wonderful inspiration, vibe and crystal clear production! 4.5 stars.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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