Cerebral Decanting

A review of Echoic from Cerebral Decanting:

The creator describes these six slices of ambient hum as exercises in extreme short-term memory morphing out of old cassettes. The record label talks up microtonal possibilities and music aligned with the promise of mathematics. Neither gloss makes much immediate sense to me, so here goes: drone-fuzz, magnetic pulsation, vocal snippets, waking dreams, the surf’s steady pound and the hum of utility poles, all mainlining into the concluding and somewhat terrifying cosmic resonance that is “Out”. The wisest words ever uttered by Julian Cope came in Krautrocksampler, when he described Tangerine Dream’s Zeit thusly: “unchanging unfolding near-static barely-shifting vegetable organic-ness takes over the room and permeates the whole house”. This isn’t Zeit. But it travels the same space ways.


A review of Echoic from the Chilean webzine Loop:

This is the second album which is released on the English Runningonair Music label run by sound artist Joe Evans. Stamper is a sound artist from Newcastle who now lives in London working on sound, installations and performances.

The raw material of ‘echoic’ comes from old cassette recordings made by his friends and Stamper himself, who digitizes them and become part of his set-up using a laptop that comes to contain this echoic memory. This term is created by the German psychologist Ulric Neisser, who develops cognitive science and behavioral change to cognitive models of psychology. Refers to how the brain is able to retain an exact copy of what is listened for a few seconds.

The music on ‘Echoic’ consists of six pieces that delve into ambient and drones deploying beautiful atmospheres that invite the listener to a nice trip.

‘See’ conjure-up the ambience of Stars Of The Lid and ‘Out’ and ‘Out’ LovesLiesCrushing’s shoegaze-ambient. Beautiful.

www.runningonair.com and http://runningonair.bandcamp.com/album/echoic

Guillermo Escudero
April 2014


A review of Echoic from Vital Weekly:

Here’s someone who calls himself a ‘former teenage metalhead’ who likes musical extremity, but is not your standard noise boy. He is from Newcastle and lives in London where he mainly does sound work, installations and performances exploring acoustic phenomena and in 2012 he released ‘Begin Anywhere’ (see Vital Weekly 820), also on Runningonair Music. Now we have some more information, also on the music itself. Apparently the six pieces here originate from a box of old cassettes, which he still drags around, and now found a place in his set-up, which is ‘a jumble of digital filters and delays suddenly became my laptop’s echoic memory’, with credit to Ulric Neisser, ‘a significant figure in the development of cognitive science, echoic memory, or auditory sensory memory, is part of the short-term memory and refers to the way the brain can take exact copy of what is heard and hold it for very short periods, roughly two to four seconds’. These six pieces are densely layered pieces of sound – probably similar sounds overlaying and intertwining each other and creating hybrid life forms of insectoid sounds. Crawling over each other, we look through a microscope and see so much more. It’s, in other words, the work of ambient and drone, all of the more darker nature. As such Stamper may not offer something that is very new or very innovative, but I must admit I quite enjoyed these works. It was highly atmospheric, even a bit crude and raw (in ‘Out’), dark, greyish and a nice tune for a winter’s evening. My favourites where ‘Sea’ and ‘Absent’, for they seemed to have a slightly more lighter tone. If you like drones, ambient and a bit of shoegazing, then I am sure you will find pleasure in this as well. (FdW)

7/10 according to Mike

A review of Echoic from the Norman Records website:

Here’s a rather droney album from Stephen Christopher Stamper. As I’m learning from the liner notes, the idea for the record came about by chance – Stamper was in the process of digitising some old tapes of musical ideas from two decades ago when he accidentally sent the recording through his live set-up of digital filters and delays, transforming the source material into something new.

I presume that is what is going on during these six tracks, but it’s hard to tell what the source material for these drones was much of the time. You can hear distant echoed rustles and cymbal crashes sometimes, and alien slowed-down voices. Sometimes there are slowly swelling metallic drones which envelop everything, in other places it’s softer and more textural, a gentle grumble and crunch ambience with ghostly, indistinct details, foggy like a memory.

It’s a soothing and somewhat hypnotic record. I’ve listened to it twice in the process of writing this review because I keep zoning out. Relaxing.

Echoic – Missing Credits!

Photo taken at The Architecture Foundation's Sounding Space: Emptyset event at Ambika P3 in London.

Photo taken by Stephen Christopher Stamper at The Architecture Foundation’s Sounding Space: Emptyset event at Ambika P3 in London.

As my new album has just been released this week by Runningonair Music, I thought I’d share the credits that didn’t fit onto the sleeve, as well as a few excerpts from the cassettes used to make the album (see the embedded SoundCloud file further down the page). But first up, some excerpts from the actual album itself!

Sleeve Notes

The genesis of this album came from a shoebox full of old cassette tapes I had been dragging around for well over 20 years. Containing recordings made by my friends and I, these cassettes had slowly morphed from a type of hastily scribbled musical sketchpad into a tangible form of long-term memory: fragments of thoughts and ideas encoded deep within the tape’s magnetic subconscious.

Fearful of losing these precious memories, or at the very least the means to retrieve them, I pulled my barely functioning Walkman out of storage and began the long and arduous task of digitising this irreplaceable archive.

An unforeseen routing issue saw the sound of a 22-year-old living room rehearsal pass through my current live performance set-up. A jumble of digital filters and delays suddenly became my laptop’s echoic memory: audio from up to four seconds ago began to resurface, overlaying the present, forcing me to re-hear once overly-familiar sounds in an entirely new way…


There (5:01)
Ian Clementson: Bass
Martin Colborn: Guitar/Voice
Adam Hodgson: Keyboards/Voice
Anton Schubert: Guitar/Voice
Owen Shaw: Voice
Stephen Christopher Stamper: Drums/Voice

Bark (7:20)
Ian Clementson: Bass
Martin Colborn: Guitar
Stephen Christopher Stamper: Computer/Drum Machine

Original (7:00)
David Barber: Voice
Richard Barber: Voice
Ian Clementson: Voice
Martin Colborn: Voice
Adam Hodgson: Voice

Sea (4:57)
Martin Colborn: Guitar
Stephen Christopher Stamper: Computer

Absent (5:11)
Stephen Christopher Stamper: Melodica/Sampler/Sequencer/Synth

Out (11:53)
Ian Clementson: Bass
Martin Colborn: Guitar
Anton Schubert: Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Christopher Stamper: Computer/Drum Machine

All tracks re-made and re-modelled by Stephen Christopher Stamper.


A gig in Winchester! Shame its not The Winchester!


Seriously tho’, if you’re in the area…

It’s been a while, but Ologies is back, with another eclectic bill, perhaps our finest yet…

Not a stranger to Winchester by any means, Kemper Norton will be performing his unique, eldritch blend of folk and electronics – his micro-symphonies of rural alienation and decay. Howlround will summon ghosts and archival memories from the colossal databanks of the BBC world service, while Olan Mill, with their soaring drones, will explore the emotion in inner and outer landscapes. Clive Henry, proponent of HNW and general behemothic noise, will be digging out new sounds from old kit and Stephen Christopher Stamper will be processing echoic memories from archived cassettes.

Or maybe they’ll decide to do something else.

The Railway
Runningonair Music