where would we be without our hands? our lives are full of commonplace experience in which the hands are so skillfully and silently involved that we rarely consider how dependent upon them we actually are, upon this ability to change the world simply by realizing that underlying language, intellect, and intelligence is the understanding that comes from hands on experience.
the hand is, among other things, a complex symbol, representing both the creative and the prosaic. this blending of the spiritual and the mundane is what makes the hand unique, as it in turn makes us unique among animals, finding and creating meaning in our lives. brain and hand accommodate each other, discover tools and language together, kicking us out of the monkey house for good. while there is still controversy over whether we are the brainiest animals on the planet, it is abundantly clear that we are the handiest.
this manipulative ability is our greatest strength and our most terrible flaw. without hands we would have no louvre but also no guns. our access to far greater means to achieve our ends gives us a greater hunger for meaning. we long to use our hands to satisfy our needs, whether spiritual or down-to-earth. this creation of meaning from nothing may be our greatest achievement. the hand is more than a metaphor of humanness. it is a focal point in the fulfillment of life, in our cognitive architecture, representing our chance to put our stamp on the world.
slowcream’s third album ‚and’ is a five part oevre, appreciating this organ of manipulation and sensation, a forty minutes reflection on our digits. the fingertips possess the highest concentration of receptors among all areas of the human skin, making them extremely sensitive to pressure, temperature, vibration, moisture, and texture. basically started as a commission for a modern dance project, ‚and’ processes a vivid digression of drama and relief, a sensuous clash of our hands’ daily climax. coming more from a club than a classical music background me raabenstein aka slowcream touches distinct terrain, fusing symphonic motives with condensed minimal electronica and the passionate live improvisations of cellist greg haines.
enjoy the melody !!!
in my time-honoured listening practice i have encountered a lot of musicians using sampling to construct their works. some of them brilliant, the large part unmemorable. well, listen to what your mature brother is going to tell now: me raabenstein – the berlin-based artist who published this masterwork under the slowcream nickname – might be one of the finest assemblers of orchestral snippets and concrete materials ever heard by this appraiser. and is spinning endlessly, never ceasing to amaze with its magnificence, exactness and intelligence. it’s been two days, and nothing else was accepted as the house’s soundtrack.
what started as a commission from an unspecified modern dance project has developed into five tracks of impeccably constructed bionic creations, pieces where a mood – usually quite dramatic – is immediately established with just a couple of touches. from there, the music evolves without looking back: either looped or seamed in diverse permutations these fragments leave enraptured, halfway through a desolate sense of broken-heartedness and the awe that children feel during the first evening at the auditorium with their parents. there’s something in slowcream’s approach that renders the whole event majestic, minus the pomposity. overwhelmingly simple, one would say, with peculiarly resounding reverberations and occasional dissonant factors that add to the mystery.
the samples are meshed with live improvisation, the culprit being greg haines who adds cellos and organs in three episodes. his suggestive contributions provide the definitive coup de grace for any latent resistance, adding a dose of ambiguity to atmospheres solemn enough to cause the rational activity to completely stop, in order to focus to the acoustic intensification. in particular, “moisture” – built upon a pizzicato background – elicits unspeakable memories via the juxtaposition of a hummed low-register melody amidst marvellous string glissandos and sparse hints to pianistic moderation. this discipline of the unexpected is signified by compositional shapes that may give the impression of typicality at the outset but, on the contrary, represent splendidly amorphous examples of cut’n’paste creativity. the entire album is replete with this kind of sensibility, the attention to every detail perceptible in each of its 40 minutes, the emotional level always high.
i had not met slowcream until yesterday, yet i am willing to bet that as soon as your copy of ‚and‘ starts spraying these substances in the room you’ll be instantly hooked. this is an extraordinary release which will appeal to open-minded classical lovers, minimalism, sampladelia and – in general – those who are able to distinguish a serious craftsman from a dabbler right away. no reason exists to miss it.
massimo ricci, touching extremes, italy 03/10
me raabenstein. language is a spy
artful, bristling, prolific and oustanding – me raabenstein, much acclaimed head of nonine recordings is back with his third solo album. three years have passed since ‘language is a spy’s predecessor album wrapped you around the finger.
the new tracks again illuminate the full and extensive cosmos of the producers audio perception. a softly muffled jelly of raabenstein’s modern classical alter ego ‘slowcream’ seems to coat the creations, carefully shimmed with the artists noted broken beat / glitch / funk drenched electonic vision. they say, it takes two to tango, have a short listen to ‘rue du bac’ and you will realize there is always a way to create new cognition. sixteen tracks, fifty-five minutes, have a refreshing shower in raabenstein’s sonorous environment.
enjoy the melody !!!
two careers seems to be stressful for some but obviously not for everybody. the tireless me raabenstein oscillates apparently effortless between fine arts and music. ‚language is a spy’s nonchalant electronica is particularly succesful for it’s cultivation of a jamming moments sideproject aura.
franck eckert, groove magazine, germany 01/16
‚language is a spy‘ is top notch glitch, erratic and low rumbling chaotic audio beauty!
pietro da sacco, igloo magazine, usa 09/15
my kinda sound, had a smirky grin while listening, broken & a little dark. great album overall, you know me i’m all about the abstract yet structured beats and soundscapes that you’re known for. my favorite tracks are ‚easy my love‘, ‚these flowers‘, ‚open windows‘, ‚ad‘, ‚winner of the day‘ and ‚ode to a horn‘. looking forward to playing all these on the show over the next several weeks. promos i get from nonine are among my favorite…
kerem gokmen, dubmission radio show, usa 09/15
langer & raabenstein. sourpuss
wake up each night from the dream called day and splash your face with a shimmying cocktail as the coives of jazz apear in the most phantom-like form and dance with the ghost which normally haunt you.
langer & raabenstein break the windows and shave the hair or conventional jazz with a new tradition of scrub-electro-funk. their clever mix of me raabensteins mellow bottoms and uwe langer’s whimsicle tops make up this album, to keep your mental cap untwisted for eighty minutes. and at the end for a moment you will see why mad men cackle and twitch, the witty spoken word of maxi jahn mixes gracefully with a jazz sauced sound scape, traping you in an urban jungle. it leaves you flopped on your belly with an owl eyed scanning grin, waiting for the next drug-yum course licking your sugar laced lips.
the artists obviously have some kind of fun we all want to have, skipping madly secretly in they’re own world of cakd tossing riffs, wicked over-sexed commas; a universe all theyre own. enjoy the chunky brass fruit shakes uwe serves up for you and the air me gives you to breath.
the trombonist uwe langer and me raabenstein met in 2005. coming from diverse point of musical views, l&r assembled and enriched their sonic knowledge in several studio sessions together with experienced musicians from the berlin jazz and club scene. three years later they now release „sourpuss“, a full length artist album of fine and self-contained craft.
a product of several eventful studio sessions, „sourpuss“ moves between soft jazz elements and electronica, smothly underlined with free improvisations. the woven spoken poetry passages complete the album, fulfilling its flowery atmospheres with a deep and voluptuous skill. langer & raabenstein offer a laid-back mix of varying musical stages, composed with an individual and far-ranging ambience and a mature character.
enjoy the melody !!!
sounds very cool, like a sound track of a black and white film by jim jarmush. felt like it revives the 80’s lounge lizards, perfect sounding for berlin. a dark bar lounge with concrete walls, silence and noise, smoke and poets. i’m really impressed by the creativity of this project. respect.
toshio matsuura, united future organisation, tokio, japan, 06
essential listening… traditional, radical, profound, as usual…
kreng, miasmah, bruxelles, belgium, 06
the soundscape is inescapable. the beauty within, without, throughout. trombone dogg meets the ambient texture manipulator – inna 21st century dub stylee. i like. ah dig ah feel.
jazzheadchronic, clf, london, uk, 06
cool noise! we’re liking your sound here at further out central…
richard e, further out recordings, london, uk, 06
all the best to my berlin friends! nice stuff- keep it rollin‘!!!!!
shantisan, salted soul, vienna, austria, 06
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