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

vital weekly []
newsletter, the netherlands, july 2007

Throughout the years Mathieu Ruhlmann has proved to be an interesting composer of ambient music, which sadly was released on CD-R labels, and thus may not have gained wide attention.

His latest release, "The Earth Grows in Each of Us", is released on Italy's finest current home for ambient and experimental music Afe Records, and it's a conceptual work. It was recorded in 2006 when Ruhlmann turned 30. The first four pieces refer to his year of birth, 1976, while the fifth piece is thirty minutes long, with three segments of ten minutes.

Ruhlmann uses a whole bunch of instruments, such as violin, piano, autoharp, accordion, bell, shruti box, voice, vinyl, wasps, seafoam, glass, tiles, fireworks, water, tree branch, metal, seedpod, pine cone, tone generator and stones. Normally I wouldn't mention all of this, but it's good to know. I think I would have all too easily referred to this music as 'analogue synthesizers and perhaps piano'; now, with this extended list of instruments I listen with different ears.

Indeed elements of vinyl static, radio speech and concrete elements do form a part of this recording. It makes a pretty strong release of highly atmospheric music. Quite dark at times, this is certainly not music for the new age of mind. This space is top heavy, but also well-balanced and well-executed release of rich sonic tapestries.

[Frans de Waard on Vital Weekly 585]