[reviews] afe097lcd
mathieu ruhlmann: the earth grows in each of us

touching extremes []
webzine, italy, august 2007

The main concept behind this album is "the regeneration of life cycle". This was something that struck Ruhlmann quite heavily, as he recently experienced both the arrival of his first son and the fear of losing his beloved sister, who barely survived a near-death accident.

The shorter compositions refer to Mathieu's year of birth in terms of duration (one, nine, seven and six minutes respectively) while the three-part suite "Holding Light" lasts 30 minutes (in 2006 Ruhlmann was in fact 30) and it's divided into three-minute aural snapshots.

Apart from all these numerological aspects, what struck me is the profoundly evocative aura that the composer was able to generate by using a plethora of regular instruments and more or less inanimate sources to depict states of mind that, in selected moments, had me truly reeling in streams of slow-breathing awareness.

There are distinct references in several of the tracks, and "Eschenau, 1976" is in my opinion a clear homage to William Basinski's heartrending looping memorials; elsewhere, Eno-tinged recollections gratify our unconscious will of being annihilated by sorrowful stupor.

Regardless of these evident influences, the high quality of sound treatment and the level of depth reached by Ruhlmann with several of his intuitions transform many sections of this CD in something analogous to a faded Polaroid, which one would like to definitively throw in the trash bin, but inevitably puts back in that old biscuit tin full of past remembrances.

[Massimo Ricci]