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(48:02, 'Mute Albino')
TRACK LIST: 1. Simmetria Francese 3:10 2. Paris in Veil 4:34 3. Elsie's Philosophy 5:53 4. Proxynails 2:52 5. Therapeutic Depression 3:57 6. Flies on Oranges 3:37 7. The Mole's Vision 3:43 8. Zetafreuh 2:34 9. Omerta 2:28 10. Welcome to My Head 2:50 11. The Waiting Room 1:52 SOLO PILOT: Stip Vanstiphout – all instruments
Prolusion. MUTE ALBINO is the moniker chosen by Belgian multi-instrumentalist and composer Stip Vanstiphout for his musical endeavors. He released his debut album “Flies on Oranges” in the summer of 2009. This is a creation made up of compositions he has written over the last 30 years.
Analysis. I'll have to give Vanstiphout credit for one thing here: He's made an album with a sound and stylistic expression pretty unique. The individual elements are all familiar, but the way they have been assembled on this venture does place his work in a niche unfamiliar to me so far - which is a nice surprise. When that is said, this isn't groundbreaking material. For many this effort will sound pretty similar to many other creations, and I guess it takes a real hardcore fan of some specific subsets of music – or a reviewer – to catch the more subtle leanings of this excursion. Melodic, dreamy instrumental pieces are the name of the game on this release, where the guitar is the central and dominating instrument. As with many other studio-based solo projects Vanstiphout utilizes the opportunity to add in multiple instrument layers of a variety probably impossible to pull off in a live setting, and it is the guitar that gets most of this treatment. Sometimes light and dreamy and at other times distorted and fragmented – even dark and gritty on occasion – the guitar soloing leads us through the musical universe of this Belgian artist. Underscoring the dominating instrument layer we find the bass guitar and drums, the latter pretty often with a neat jazzy tinge to them and very well programmed, while keyboards or synths sets up a melodic backdrop barely audible except on select occasions. In between these elements several toned down guitar layers are added in, fragmented backdrops, mellow wandering passages and also drawn out riffs pretty often – the latter effectively used to provide a dark underlying layer adding tension and contrast to the compositions without ever dominating or being insistent either. Indeed, this is a subtle creation. Richly textured soundscapes with subtle dissonances in a stylistic expression somewhere in between the lighter side of instrumental fusion, dreamy excursions that might make you think of Mike Oldfield, and laid-back instrumental guitar ventures being the third style approached on this album. Personally I found this to be an intriguing effort overall - nothing that will write itself into any history book when the year 2009 is to be summarized but a fine release nonetheless.
Conclusion. If instrumental, melodic guitar-dominated art rock of the lighter variety is something you appreciate this recording is one you might want to become more familiar with. Well made with richly textured creations, this is an album that will appeal to those who enjoy fine melodies, yet also appreciate subtly dissonant and challenging elements to be discovered on closer inspection.
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