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THE

PSYCHONAUT

 

Story

Martin L Stephenson {Martin Lee-Stephenson, Martin L Stephenson} is an experimental sound artist, musician, producer and songwriter from London, Uk. He is one half of the experimental act Spooncurve {with Faye Rochelle} and the composer/ producer for the hermetic inspired dark ambient project Apollon {apollon93}. He also records under the name of doppler 20:20 and Vulse. 

Stephenson is formally classically trained 'cellist, taking up the 'cello at the age of 8 before switching to bass guitar at 14. He has played the following instruments on releases and live performances: Bass, percussion, Guitar, Chapman stick, Keyboards, dulcimer, Piano, recorder, drums, cello, violin, sitar,harmonium, ukulele, voice.

After various bands and  minor songwriting partnerships, Stephenson began recording within both the industrial and acid house scenes in the  late 1980's, mainly as a programmer and session musician. He began work in the early 1990's in London studios Pro One, Law and Auder, Dynamic, December Dawn and Notting Hill. With fellow studio producers P Earl and Lawrence Elliot-Potter , work began with the emerging Trance, Techno and early drum and bass releases. Similar work was seeing an output from Pro One with  David Salvi and Moving Shadow artist Hopa {Hopa and Bones}.

Remixes have included work for Pigface, Genesis P Orridge, Patricia Kass, Kuljit Bhamra,Billy Bass Nelson and a wide range of experimental acts in the electronica genre. An extensive number of remixes were made over a two year period, estimated at over 50. These were mainly drum and bass, or ambient mixes for previously released music, such as the trojan catalogue. Although "paying the rent" this period proved frustrating, and Stephenson turned back to concentrating on creating his own works, although some pruduction work with acts such as Moondogg {with Westworld members Bob Derwood Andrews and Elizabeth Westwood} were also a welcome distraction.

M L Stephenson's own work is eclectic, but tends to fall into the experimental genres of ambient, ritual ambient, world and electronica scenes. He has worked alongside, performed live with and produced some very notable world music/folk artists including, Kuljit Bhamra, Steaffan Hannigan, Nigel Eaton, Mike Crosby, Eric Mingus, Saskia Tomkins, Balber Bittu, Tony Harris, Michael Garrick,Kamlbir Singh, Muslimgauze, Faye Rochelle and many other accomplished musicians.

His Apollon body of work has so far produced eleven full length albums, including two collaborations with the late Muslimgauze. Apollon {or Apollon93} often utilises found sound, eastern percussion and mantra, electronic voice phenomenon and tape looping. The albums are stream of consciousness recordings, differing in current and sound from dark ambient soundscapes to harsher noise experiments. Apollon has also performed live occasionally, using stretch work tape looping and live percussion. Apollon has released tracks and albums through labels EMP, Vuzh, Advaita Audio and the Hermetic library, and works most closely with the DOR label.

 The frequency of doppler 20:20 releases is not as consistent as Apollon's, but doppler 20:20 has five album's to its name and many compilation appearances to date. Doppler 20:20 has its sound again camped in the experimental genre, but as opposed to Apollon, is less dark and tends to use more "accepted" genres of electronica, digitally manipulated. Throughout the albums the tracks range from dub influenced sound art to cut up, glitch jazz and drum and bass, and the occasional electronic ambient piece.

Spooncurve is perhaps Martin L Stephenson's main focus artistically, although as part of a songwriting duo and the more precise recording process the releases tend to be stretched over time. Spooncurve feature himself and singer/song writer Faye Rochelle, and make use of ambient, folk inspired instrumentation with experimental loops and percussion. They started in the 1990's as a "trip hop" act, but over time have evolved to a warmer, more ethereal sound. Releases include the Kate Bush writer collaboration "meaning of lovers" on copasetic, and the bdsm scene favourite "hurt me, I'm yours" on DOR. Spooncurve appear live at a series of private performances four  times per year at the "Scarlet Temple" gathering in the UK. Live mixes from this event, now in it's third year, will be available for release at a later date 

His music has been included on films "winter of love", "flash", "a quiet desperation", "better than chocolate" "SLC Punk",TV shows in the Uk, Germany, France and the US and avant-garde experimental films both of his own and other directors creations. With visuals, he tends to work with the retro super-8 genre, but has also been known to produce short digital films. He is a member of the FONO art collective.

These days, Stephenson mainly concentrates on the hermetic inspired Apollon work, and maintains a close relationship with the DOR label.

He continues his work with Spooncurve, alng with side projects with Spooncurve singer Faye Rochelle. He also continues with doppler 20:20 electronica recordings, and various experimental works under his own name. 


Stephenson is the grandson of music hall entertainer Leslie Harris and the great grandson of lyric writer and bohemian concert arranger Phillip Harris.

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