Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Stephan Thelen — Fractal Guitar 2 Remixes
(Moonjune no#, 2021, CD / LP / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-03-19
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Thelen’s Fractal Guitar series began in 2019, each followed by an album of Remixes. Fractal Guitar 2 from 2021 is the latest, and now we have the expected Fractal Guitar 2 Remixes. In reviewing Fractal Guitar 2 I speculated how long the series might go on, and though there seem to be no shortage of fresh ideas remaining in Thelen’s satchel, nor remix ideas from Reuter, Torn, Cleveland and other remix collaborators — only they know for certain, but what we already have on hand is quite impressive. The album features three different remixed versions of “Point of Inflection” — one by David Torn, another by Thelen himself, and a third very fragmented and unusual version by Bill Laswell that closes the set. The remaining three include Thelen’s own remix of “Celestial Navigation,” a dreamy journey through some eclectic funk territory featuring Reuter on touch guitar, Bill Walker on electric and lap steel, srummer Manuel Pasquinelli and percussionist Andi Pupato, with everything else played by Thelen — including bass and keyboards. Barry Cleveland’s remix of “Mercury Transit” is another dreamy effort with a lean six-piece ensemble including Michael Manring on fretless bass and soundscapes by Markus Reuter, drummer Andy Brugger and percussionist Pupato. All taken, the set constitutes an impressive body of remix work on top of the superb compositions they began from. One might well question the need for all of these different remixes, but when one considers all of the variations that could be achieved with a large group of musicians — some numbering as many as eight to ten, track depending, that certainly opens the doors for a lot of different possibilities, and one has to suspect that even more could have been done, but only the very best could be chosen.
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