Fractal Guitar

by Stephan Thelen

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13:23
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08:42
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about

After a few years of playing without effects apart from reverb in Sonar,
I felt the urge to compose and record some pieces in which effects were an integral part of the music. I especially wanted to use an effect I worked with before Sonar, which I call “Fractal Guitar” — a rhythmic delay with a very high feedback level that creates cascading delay patterns in odd time signatures such as 3/8, 5/8 or 7/8.

The other desire I had was to work with and to have some serious fun with a few of the many great guitarists I've met over the years to create an album that features some of the more forward-looking possibilities of the most mysterious, compelling and eclectic of all instruments, the electric guitar.

The five tracks on this album grew out of a mind-boggling amount of
activity and crystallized out of myriad soundfiles, recorded across the
Western hemisphere during the last 3 years, coincidentally (or maybe not) between two long trips to Namibia. Thanks to all my great friends who helped me pull it off, especially to Markus Reuter, who shared his exceptional talents and endless creativity with me on every step of the way. Thanks also to Grace, Devin and Anil Prasad for their generous hospitality, to Brandy Gale and Henry Kaiser for inspiration and to Leonardo "Moonjune" Pavkovic for inviting me into the illustrious Moonjune Club.

Stephan Thelen, Zürich, August 2018

Reviews and Comments:

John Kelman, All About Jazz
www.allaboutjazz.com/fractal-guitar-stephan-thelen-moonjune-records-review-by-john-kelman.php

Owen Davies, Dutch Progressive Rock Page
www.dprp.net/reviews/2019-014/#thelen

Andrea Aguzzi, NeuGuitars
neuguitars.com/2019/04/04/interview-with-stephan-thelen-april-2019-on-neuguitars-blog/

Cedric Hendrix, interview with Markus Reuter
cirdecsongs.com/2019/04/03/markus-reuter-the-cirdecsongs-interview/

Matt McCabe
www.finleysound.com/blog/2019/2/1/album-review-stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar

Sid Smith, Prog Magazine
www.stephanthelen.com/fractal_guitar_sid_smith_review.html

John Ephland, All About Jazz
www.allaboutjazz.com/fractal-guitar-stephan-thelen-moonjune-records-review-by-john-ephland.php

Jordán Quintero
www.opinionynoticias.com/opinioncultura/34245-quintero-j

Marcello Nardi, Music for Watermelons
www.musicforwatermelons.com/david-torn/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar-moonjune-2019/

Roger Trenwith, The Progressive Aspect
theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/01/14/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz:
www.allaboutjazz.com/fractal-guitar-stephan-thelen-moonjune-records-review-by-mark-sullivan.php

Lee Henderson, Big beautiful Noise
www.bigbeautifulnoise.com/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar-2019

John Sanders, Jazz Music Archives:
www.jazzmusicarchives.com/review/fractal-guitar/418521

Marino Serdons, Keys and Chords
www.keysandchords.com/album-review-blog/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar

Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter
www.downtownmusicgallery.com/newsletter_detail.php?newsID=1291

Mark Keresman, Icon Magazine, Chicago
www.stephanthelen.com/icon_review.html

Big Ears Festival:
bigearsfestival.org/listen-stephan-thelen-releases-new-solo-album-fractal-guitar/

Cedric Hendrix, Proglodytes
proglodytes.com/2019/01/08/album-review-stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Dmitry M. Epstein, Let it Rock
dmme.net/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Ingo Andruschkewitsch, Musik an sich
www.musikansich.de/review.php?id=19886

Jörg Konrad, KultKomplott
www.kultkomplott.de/Artikel/Musik/#article_anchor_1625#

Michael Breuer, Rock Times
www.wp.rocktimes.de/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar-cd-review/

Rivertree, Progarchives
www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=61531

Babysue, March reviews, Top Pick
www.babysue.com/2019-March-LMNOP-Reviews.html#anchor3138

TCat, Progarchives
www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=2165471

Jochen Rindfrey, Babyblaue Seiten
www.babyblaue-seiten.de/album_17814.html#oben

JP's Music Blog
www.jpsmusicblog.com/2019/01/new-releases-from-guitarist.html?m=1

Zachary Nathanson, Music From The Other Side Of The Room
zacharynathanson.blogspot.com/2019/01/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar.html

Geno Thackara, All About Jazz
www.allaboutjazz.com/stephan-thelen-and-sonar-minimal-grooves-at-maximum-volume-by-geno-thackara.php

Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquillity
www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=21534
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eitTooSaCeI&feature=youtu.be

Mike Greenblatt, The Aquarian
www.stephanthelen.com/rant_roll.pdf

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy
www.stephanthelen.com/ba101.pdf

George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
www.jazzweekly.com/2019/02/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Philippe Thirionet, Music in Belgium
www.musicinbelgium.net/reviews/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Moors Magazine
www.moorsmagazine.com/muziek/jazz-blues/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

ProgLog AFTERglow
progopinion.blogspot.com

Renato de Moraes, Prog Brasil
www.progbrasil.com.br/ExibeResenhas.php?eID=1832&fbclid=IwAR15AYIHt1spoANc-Z-aoCA817f0_9PxWRbtRhSoiLe75V43SW7uZOP9P4Q

Andrea Aguzzi, NeuGuitars
neuguitars.com/2019/04/01/recensione-di-fractal-guitar-di-stephan-thelen-moonjune-records-2019-su-neuguitars-blog/

César Inca Mendoza Loyola, Autopoietican
autopoietican.blogspot.com/2019/05/stephan-thelen-y-la-fractalizacion-del.html?m=1

Mario Champagne, Profil Prog
www.profilprog.com/stephan-thelen-fractalguitar-review

Late for the Sky
www.lateforthesky.org/2019/02/03/stephan-thelen-%E2%80%93-fractal-guitar/

Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzhalo
www.jazzhalo.be/reviews/cdlp-reviews/s/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Marcel Peteroff, Rezensator.de
www.rezensator.de/thelen_fractalguitar.htm

Andrea Baroni, Storia della Musica
www.storiadellamusica.it/classic_rock-psichedelia-wave/progressive/stephen_thelen-fractal_guitar(moon_june_records-2019).html

Alessandro Manitto, Musica Jazz
www.musicajazz.it/fractal-guitar-stephan-thelen/

United Mutations
united-mutations.blogspot.com/2019/02/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar.html

Erik Groeneweg, Progwereld.org
www.progwereld.org/cms/album/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar/

Enrique Farelo, Tomajazz
www.tomajazz.com/web/?p=42074

Gyöngyösi Gergő, jazzma.hu
www.jazzma.hu/hirek/2019/03/26/stephan-thelen-fractal-guitar

Tracce di Jazz
traccedijazz.com/2019/01/30/moon-june-chitarre-da-tutto-il-mondo/

Leonid Auskern, Jazzzquad
jazzquad.ru/index.pl?act=PRODUCT&id=5137

Tomasz Ostafiński, artrock.pl
www.artrock.pl/recenzje/54329/thelen_stephan_fractal_guitar.html

Diskyxeion
diskoryxeion.blogspot.com/2019/03/stephan-thelen-progressive.html

credits

released December 17, 2018

Tracklisting and musicians:

01 BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL (18:37)

David Torn: electric guitar, live looping
Markus Reuter: U8 touch guitar, soundscapes
Jon Durant: cloud guitar
Matt Tate: U8 touch guitar (bass)
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums
Stephan Thelen: fractal and tritone guitar

02 ROAD MOVIE (13:23)

Markus Reuter: U8 touch guitar, soundscapes
Bill Walker: electric guitar, live looping
Henry Kaiser: electric guitar
Matt Tate: U8 touch guitar (bass)
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums
Stephan Thelen: fractal and blue sky guitar, granular loops

03 FRACTAL GUITAR (9:21)

Markus Reuter: U8 touch guitar, soundscapes
Barry Cleveland: guitar atmospheres
Matt Tate: U8 touch guitar (bass)
Andi Pupato: percussion
Benno Kaiser: drums
Stephan Thelen: fractal guitar, granular loops

04 RADIANT DAY (8:42)

Markus Reuter: U8 touch guitar, soundscapes
Barry Cleveland: guitar atmospheres, bowhammer
Matt Tate: U8 touch guitar (bass)
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums
Stephan Thelen: fractal and blue sky guitar

05 URBAN NIGHTSCAPE (17:38)

David Torn: electric guitar, live looping
Markus Reuter: U8 touch guitar, soundscapes
Matt Tate: U8 touch guitar (bass)
Benno Kaiser: drums
Stephan Thelen: fractal guitar, organ, samples

Produced by Markus Reuter & Stephan Thelen
Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic for Moonjune Records
℗ © WRSS/Moonjune Music/2019

All tracks written by Stephan Thelen except "Briefing for a Descent into Hell" by Stephan Thelen and David Torn (title taken from Doris Lessing's book), “Radiant Day” by Stephan Thelen and Markus Reuter, and "Urban Nightscape" by Stephan Thelen, David Torn and Markus Reuter.

Recorded at various locations across Europe and North America between August 2015 and April 2018.

Recording engineer at Gadget Box, Santa Cruz, California, where Bill's and Henry's tracks were recorded on April 27, 2016: Patrick Brede.

Recording engineer at Powerplay, Maur, Switzerland, where David's tracks were recorded on January 30, 2018: Alex Mularkey, assisted by Bernhard Wagner.

Recording engineer in Chicago, Illinois, where Matt's tracks were recorded on March 30, 2018: Gabriel Lucas Gitin Riccio.

Drums recorded by Benno Kaiser at his rehearsal room in Aarau, Switzerland. The drums on "Fractal Guitar" and "Urban Nightscape" were played and recorded by Benno during September - November 2015. The drums on "Road Movie" and "Radiant Day" were played by Manuel and recorded by Benno on April 17, 2016, the drums on "Briefing for a Descent into Hell" were played by Manuel and recorded by Benno on January 11, 2018.

Post-production and mix by Benjamin Schäfer and Markus Reuter for Unsung Productions, Berlin, Germany, April/May 2018.

Mastered by Alexander Vatagin in Vienna, Austria, August 2018.

There is a misprint on the CD cover: U8 touch guitar (bass) on "Urban Nightscape" is of course played by Matt Tate, not by Stephan Thelen.

David Torn appears courtesy of ECM Records.

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Stephan Thelen Switzerland

Stephan Thelen is a composer, musician and mathematician based in Zürich, Switzerland. He is best known as composer, artistic director and guitarist of the Swiss minimal groove band SONAR and for his composition "Circular Lines", commisioned, played and recorded by the KRONOS QUARTET. ... more

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