Mathieu St-Pierre — Online Messages in Cardboard Boxes


Canadian media artist Mathieu St-Pierre launched his second release Online Messages in Cardboard Boxes, his very first appearance on the Bulgarian label Mahorka which specializes in ambient and electroacoustic music. This album as well as the previous one, These Elephants, has a unifying concept: according to the musician himself, all of the sound textures were found by him on the Web. Overall, St-Pierre's sound trajectory hasn't changed much, we can still hear viscous drone and ambient. In one of the tracks, Yakov's Cabin, there are clearly audible voice cuts of someone saying "meat", "eating well" and "calcium" in Russian. "Why meat?" is probably the question you’d like to ask. Well, it's due to the album drawing you in with its atmosphere, and yet this atmosphere is just like raw meat, which is quite logical considering all the quirks of drone electronics: it is a rather insipid-flavored kind of music, where it is difficult to identify a particular smell or taste.

The music palette of Online Messages in Cardboard Boxes is moderately diverse; in the Seeding track, one can clearly hear a pulsating audio canvas with elements of micro glitch at the start. There is some kind of sonic vibration overall present throughout the whole album, and which is quite apparent in the track Upstream Revelations. There is a semblance of a rhythm section in Bone Structure Stage II (the richest composition of the album in terms of sound). Meanwhile, the very first and the last tracks are united by sounds that are very reminiscent of flowing water; these sound punctuate the entire album as if drawing a clear narration line throughout this whole audio journey.

All things considered, Online Messages in Cardboard Boxes is a hope-inspiring, slightly grim ode to people who live in a cave and never see any light. Personally, I'd like to add that the artist should include more melodicism in his art, but even without it, the album will be appreciated by the audience who seeks sound abstraction and tranquility.