It's easy to label multi-instrumentalist and electronic artist Stèv as a musical prodigy, but to do so only takes away from the tedious work and devotion put into his debut full-length effort on Loci and Megaphone Records. Beyond Stolen Notes is the final product of a craftsman who hooked inspiration from both his musical influences and demographic surroundings. Beginning the framework for the album in Berlin and further pushing its boundaries from his hometown in Ancona, (real name) Stefano Fagnani composes the soundtrack to significant moments in his life that better shaped his understanding and world view.
Eleven tracks deep, Beyond Stolen Notes is a cohesive session of introspection & release with Fagnani's sound design and layering steering the way. And that's something that shouldn't come as a surprise since advance-released singles such as "Hills Are Floating" and "Urbinian" denoted early on the wonders to await. As the former projects an ambience of freewheeling via Stèv's guitar plucks and aqueous samples, the latter song plays out like a natural progression of mood going from spring leisure to summer lounging. "Lain Is Dreaming" promotes one of the album's more lucid moments destined for reverie. With slow-mo lapses that induce irrelevance to time, "Lain Is Dreaming" feels like a spiritual deep-sea dive with Fagnani's ambient abstracts at center stage.
Reaching "Kodama No Matsuri" is where the album gets cooking. Marking a turning-point in focus and pace, Stèv amplifies the listening experience by introducing his more electronica-oriented side. Constantly shifting to new paths with a new-found acceleration, the motif of tranquility still formulates accordingly. Organic strings rain down "While You're Fading" wholly unanticipated, and it calls for a moment of sublime bracing. "Bamboo Delays" showcases another new element too; the vocal presence. Sung over cosmic pads and a groovy bassline, Stèv further exercises fidgety beats with a flair of cosmic allegiance all the way until coming back full-circle in "Flying Tissue" (Stolen Edit).
It's clear that Beyond Stolen Notes is a touch-and-go culmination that justifies the 2 year gap from his 2013 Elsewhere EP to now. With tireless soundscapes that evolve and speak of individual processes, there's no better home for forward-thinking music like this than Loci Records. Out May 18th, EARMILK has the exclusive album stream readily available below.
For those who wish to shelf this LP, Megaphone Records will be distributing it on vinyl.
Beyond Stolen Notes
- Loci Records
- May 18 2015