Stubbleman-Mountains and Plains.

Label: Crammed Discs.

Forty years ago, in 1979, Pascal Gabriel aka the groundbreaking and maverick composer and producer Stubbleman, moved from his home in a Belgium to London. The former punk musician joined a series of experimental art school bands, which was the start of a voyage of discovery that led to him discovering the recording studio. This was the start of a long and illustrious career for a producer and songwriter who has gained international recognition.

In the early days, Pascal Gabriel was known for the string of dance hits  including Theme from S’Express and Beat Dis. This opened doors for Pascal Gabriel who was soon writing, producing and mixing tracks and albums by everyone from  Can, Inspire Carpets and Wire to Dido, Kylie Minogue, Bebel Gilberto, Miss Kittin and Ladyhawke. However, despite working with so many high profile names, Pascal Gabriel’s ended up in the pop wilderness.

Sadly, this was where he was destined to stay for a number of years. However, recently, Pascal Gabriel returned with a new album that shows another side to his music. This is the ambitious and adventurous electronic ambient music that he recorded and recently released as Stubbleman, which is the latest moniker Pascal Gabriel has adopted. Stubbleman recently released his debut album Mountains and Plains on Crammed Discs.

Mountains and Plains is best described as a cinematic and panoramic album which was inspired by Stubbleman’s road trio across America. As he travelled across the land of the free, he experienced train tracks that seemed to go on forever, enjoyed cities that never sleep and visited ruins that brought about a feeling of nostalgia for another era. Stubbleman experienced and witness vast skies, visited the desert plains and junctions that no longer went anywhere. Throughout his road trip, Stubbleman indulged in people watching as he passed through towns and cities which were populated by a wonderfully diverse populace.

On returning home, Stubbleman began work on what later became Mountains and Plains. He fused lo-fi, cinematic mixture of found sounds and field recordings with modular synths and sometimes live piano on eleven soundscapes which combine electronic ambient music and experimental with avant-garde. 

The result was Mountains and Plains, a carefully crafted and captivating album of cinematic and panoramic music that is beautiful but understated and engaging, and also emotive and evocative. Sometimes, Mountains and Plains features melancholy rhythms and wistful music which seems designed to tug at the listeners heartstrings. Other times, surges of music emerge from the soundscapes as Stubbleman uses his musical palette to paint vivid pictures.

This he does throughout  his debut album, which is best described as a very personal and autobiographical ambient opus, where Stubbleman lays bare his soul as he paints pictures of a distant land and the people he met during his road trip over the Mountains and Plains that decorate the land of the free. 

Stubbleman-Mountains and Plains.

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