Music Fiction


Rithma (nee Etienne Stehelin) is the Zadie Smith of house music: there’s just no way in hell he should be so young (23) with such a damned mature artistic vision. Music Fiction is an utterly captivating musical ride. Stehelin is such a unique addition to the dance music firmament, it’s hard to envision a time when his star won’t shine. The man’s sound is singular and extraordinary. He almost defies comparison. He combines house with jazz and subtle touches of blues and rock in ways you haven’t really heard before. He has more spiritual kinships than actual influences. He loves bop like his French counterparts; uses that Miles muted trumpet to great effect like a Kozo or P’Taah and anybody else who’s ever heard On the Corner or In a Silent Way; and he loves the quirky effects much like a Herbert or King Britt’s Scuba persona. Yet, there’s never really a moment when Rithma gives an obvious nod to any of these folks.

What Stehelin has done at 23 is find his own voice. He has carved out his own vision that marries house with hard bop and a bit of smooth jazz. His sound is lush with dark, inky tones and a surprising infusion of joy. There’s almost a watery quality to the music•as though one’s swimming in the farthest depths of a Pacific Ocean dance party.

Music Fiction is a pleasant surprise, a clarion call of a debut. House producers and fans alike will definitely stand up and take notice.

Om Records: http://www.om-records.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Jacqueline Kerrod
    Jacqueline Kerrod

    17 Days in December (Orenda Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    In The Blossom Of Their Shade (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Best of Film 2021
    Best of Film 2021

    Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite features, seven supplemental films, and two prized repertory releases of 2021.

  • I Saw A Dozen Faces…
    I Saw A Dozen Faces…

    From The Windbreakers to Bark, Tim Lee is a trooper in the rock and roll trenches…and he’s lived to tell it all in his new memoir.

  • The Lyons
    The Lyons

    A man on his deathbed is surrounded by bickering family members, many of which you would strangle him given the chance. In other words: a brilliant comedy!

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives