Stephan Mathieu and Sylvain Chauveau - Palimpsest
In June of 2012, Stephan Mathieu launched his very own label – Schwebung. Created as a platform for distributing his own solo works, as well as collaborations, such as this one with Sylvain Chauveau, the label aims to please audiophiles with 250g vinyl (limited edition of 500 copies) and high-resolution 24-bit FLAC digital releases. Palimpsest appears on Schwebung as one of the very first pressings featuring vocals by Chauveau himself. That’s right, besides the precision-designed harmonically-rich drones, which are the result of Mathieu’s staple processing of acoustic instruments, ebowed virginals, phonoharp, and radio shortwaves, Chauveau sings on every single track, with lyrics written by Bill Callahan (aka Smog). The layers on Palimpsest at times appear to be disassociated from one another, as if the vocals have been hibernating beneath the ambient textures, only to reveal themselves when the outer core is carefully scraped off. Indeed, ‘palimpsest’ is a scroll page which the ancient Greeks and Romans reused for another manuscript, once the original writing has been washed off. But even after all the labor-intensive work to erase the past words, the page still contains all of its secrets. Just like the music of Chauveau and Mathieu.