[reviews] afe123lcd
mathieu ruhlmann: as a leaf or a stone

wonderful wooden reasons []
website, u.k., august 2010

I have a fondness for Ruhlmann's compositions. On the whole they're cold, austere and decidedly brittle but they're made with such an ear for a compatible sound, with such an eye for an employable object and such a will for an intractable experience that you can't help but be gladdened at their existence.

On "As a Leaf or a Stone" Ruhlmann continues his mission to utilise everything in his studio / house / street / neighbourhood / country / continent and planet on one of his albums at some time or another.

I counted 32 separate sound sources listed on this album including, coffee grinder, cactus, tracing paper, dried sunflower, lamp and denture cleaner and that's without including whatever he's identified as 'various vibrating objects & strings'.

As I've said the music is a pretty gritty affair that trundles along slightly faster than a snails pace. For Ruhlmann texture is very much king as tonally there's little variation here but texturally he likes to mix things up a little.

I'll be utterly honest with you and say music like this isn't someone I play very often - I find it much to stark to fully immerse into but on occasion it's this very characteristic that pulls me into it's clutches.

[Ian Holloway]