Transcriptions is a collaborative work from ambient artists Stephan Mathieu and Taylor Deupree. The album contains music that is warm, decayed, and emotive. Sounding a bit like William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops” series, “Transcriptions” is an album for reading, sleeping, writing, and meditating. Being a big fan of the genre, this comes as a welcome addition to my growing collection of ambient electronica, and sounds like one of the most pleasant and pensive releases of the year.
My initial fascination with the album had to do with how it was recorded. Stephan Mathieu began collecting mechanical gramophones, wax-cylinders, and early 78’s from the turn of the century. Once he’d gathered enough stock material he recorded the cylinders and 78’s via two portable gramophones directly into his computer, and while doing so he rendered and digitally kissed the sweeping orchestral ambience. Next Taylor Deupree added acoustic plucks and strums and vintage synthesizer to act as a perfect counterpart to Mathieu’s wash of sound.
The overall result is an enveloping 48 minute melodic surge that can only be described as gorgeous.