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Somewhere between experiment, field recording and 'translation' -- according to the liner notes that's what is being done at the start with a photograph -- Stephan Mathieu's On Tape is a one-track, slightly longer than half-hour recording that's entrancing, but very much on its own terms. It's a live recording in the sense that Mathieu constructs the piece in real time from his source materials, in this case contributions from the band Tape, also on the Hapna label, as well as saxophonist Magnus Granberg. Mathieu plays drums as well as edits and tweaks as he goes. Successful? After a while -- it takes some time to get started; unlike some minimal compositions (consider Michael J. Schumacher), here it's almost like Mathieu simply turned the microphone on and left the room. Soft, high-pitched tones do start to waft in by the fifth minute, however, and slowly a collage is assembled, becoming a gentle drone piece that then in turn shifts into samples of Granberg's work, equally meditative. Once On Tape fully gets going, then it becomes an enjoyable listen indeed, in fact quite arguably too brief in the end. Mathieu's drumming becomes a perfect wild card in ways, in that he was the only instrumentalist directly contributing to the recording as it was being made, but at the same time the overall seamlessness is such that it seems like it would not matter if the composition was all live or all tape -- doubtless something intentional on Mathieu's part. He adds low-key rhythms and fills for much of the middle of the piece, then by 25 minutes in he pulls back to a pulsing, slowly sped-up snippet of soothing texture, which slowly fades away into a recording of bird calls and quiet tones, ending so subtly it can catch one by surprise. A one-off attempt, perhaps, but a rewarding one.