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Riding Fences

by Sage Martens

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Introduction 00:54
River Music 03:11
Coyotes 01:57
Horse Opera 01:44
Town News 03:20
Pumpjack 03:10


Matthew Sage’s (Cached Media, Fuubutsushi) and Lieven Martens (Edições CN, Dolphins Into The Future) make a Western album together.

Sage: “I have always found the idea of whatever "Western" means in America to be very elusive. It feels like a fantasy that we keep trying to relive by retelling exaggerated stories. An echo of an echo of an echo...”

Martens: “In Belgium, "Western" entered the minds through movies, television series, theme parks, magazines. (…) the obvious: wearing cowboy boots and taking part in line dance events on the weekends. But harnessed under the surface by others who do not find affirmation in local stories.”

Sage, who grew up in Colorado, comes from generations of “Western Living.” A way of life that is part of the American Identity, but one that is fetishized in uncanny replications. Some kind of chapped ghost that haunts this colonized terrain.

Martens responds and tries to give a place to something where he comes from, namely the idolatry of “Western Living,” as an idealized form of freedom. Adapted from movies, magazines et al, mostly by those dissapointed … Based on life that happens about 9.000 kilometers (5.500 miles) out of reach. Without even having a clue nor connection about this “exotica.”

So in both worlds: the replication is more “truthfull” than the actual …

Sage: “I read the novel Butcher's Crossing by John Edward William's a few months ago. The book is both a work of genre fiction, but also a critique both of the genre of "Western" and of the ideologies of the West. It is exactly the kind of double I am interested in... like revisionist genre work. In the novel: an intellectual from New England -- fresh from studying Henry David Thoreau -- decides to seize his transcendental identity and discover himself in the West. He joins a party hunting and skinning buffalo. Tragedy ensues. Nature prevails.”


released July 4, 2022

All music, recording: Matthew Sage, Lieven Martens
Except: piano on track 7 by Wietske Van Gils, field recording on track 7 by Mick Sage, and carillon on track 10 by Luc Dockx

Mixing, editing: Lieven Martens; mastering: Roman Hiele; typography: Jeroen Wille; risograph printing: Jan Matthé


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M. Sage Colorado

Matthew J. Sage

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