nonine recordings

non020. me raabenstein. raabenstein_esk (digital artist album)

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non020. me raabenstein. raabenstein_esk (digital artist album)
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artist: me raabenstein
title: raabenstein_esk
cat.no: non020
format: digital artist album
release date: june 29, 2009
distributed by nonine recordings


tracklist
01 melancholic universe iv
02 gutterface
03 island patois
04 one for sunken eyes
05 holloman air
06 carpetbagger part i & ii
07 chimps in space part i & ii
08 rain over devon
09 deep hibernation part i & ii
10 counter esk
11 breed disorder (back home)

all tracks written, produced and mixed by me raabenstein.
all vocals by mark gisbourne. lyrics by me, criticaly reviewed by mark.
drums on ‘chimps in space part i & ii’ by thomas wydler.
synthesizer on ‘gutterface’, ‘phony shebang’ and ‘deep hibernation part i & ii’ by shapemod.
keyboards on ‘one for sunken eyes’ and ‘chimps in space part i & ii’ by volker meitz.
guitars on ‘chimps in space part i & ii’ and ‘breed disorder’ by andreas koslik.
trombones on ‘rain over devon’ by uwe langer.
additional programming on ‘chimps in space part i & ii’ by sebastian schreiber.


‘raabenstein_esk’ are abstract sound compositions and quirky, mutilated electronics melted in broken beat extravaganzas, spized with dark and extremely personal spoken poetry. in other words... pharoah sanders jaming with george duke, arranged by steve reich whilst john peel is frowningly construing the late night news into slippery nursery rhymes...

me raabenstein’s upcoming ‘raabenstein_esk’ release for nonine recordings is one to keep an earmark on. offering nothing short of resonant frequencies and minimal dub highlights, me raabenstein creates sonic manifesto’s full of colorful sound palette’s. similar in nature to the aesthetic of ~scape recording artists, ‘raabenstein_esk’ manages to exude a harmonic sense of balance and experimental edge. the version of esk reviewed herein is not the finalized package, yet the overall production is chemically exuberant and outlines the progression of definitive minimal electronics for 2009.
pietro de sacco, igloomagazine, usa (on an early raw mixed prelisten version of the album)

having a filmmaker’s and painter’s background, me raabenstein investigates in overlapping structures and the lamination of inappropiate ingredients. constituted with impatience and intrusiveness the process of producing asks for constant conversion and unsung modus operandi.
the unconsciousness is often recalled as a perfect working method of artists from this genre, materialising and structuring voids to be freed and filled with advanced and cutting edged content. analysing different layers of proceeding structures, me guides his musical textures towards an adulteration of unaccustomed sonances, cluttering cacophanys and rhytmic paragon.
 

feedback
 

eben noch veröffentlichte der berliner nonine recordings label betreiber die scheibe 'xvi reflections on classical music'. auf dem sampler offerieren befreundete musiker ihre persönliche sicht auf die fusion von klassik und elektronischer musik. im weitesten sinn setzt hier auch raabenstein selbst an. wenn auch deutlich subtiler. zwar verheißt das presse sheet einen klang wie eine jamsession von pharoah sanders mit george duke, arrangiert von steve reich... klappern gehört zum geschäft. namedropping auch. allerdings besteht dabei die gefahr, dass der fokus von der eigentlichen scheibe entschwindet. das wäre bedauerlich, denn me raabenstein beschert dem hörer etwas wirklich eigenes, wenn auch nicht gerade leicht verdauliches. auch wenn schönberg dereinst überzeugt war, dass seine musik wenige jahrzehnte später von leuten auf der straße gepfiffen würde, erwies sich die 12 ton musik als zu komplex für tradierte hörgewohnheiten. genauso wenig wird raabensteins kammermusik dub die tanzflächen füllen. aber darauf ist er auch nicht ausgelegt. selbst wenn der rhythmus etwas hektischer, nervöser wird, strahlt die platte aufgrund ihres intelligent eingesetzten minimalismus in den arrangements eine überlegene ruhe aus. um so stärker erfolgt die konzentration auf die lyrics, gesprochen von mark gisbourne. dessen warme stimme funktioniert dann auch als türöffner für all jene, die zu den eigenwilligen dub rhythmen raabensteins nicht sofort einen zugang finden. faszinierende scheibe mit großem entdeckungspotential.
roland klein, satt.org, germany 12/09

bei seinem ersten album unter seinem namen mischt me raabenstein elektronischen jazz-funk aus drums, keyboards und bläsern mit gebrochenen digitalen beats und den gelegentlich geraunten vocals von mark gisbourne. groovende kammermusik mit soundexperimenten, so dicht produziert, als sässe der hörer mittendrin. und die einheit von analogen und digitalen klangerzeugern funktioniert auch wunderbar. gelungen.
asb, de:bug, germany 09/09

seeehr schönes album aus berlin, mit einer gewagten und experimentellen kante: starker, tiefer und verzwirbelter acid-dub mit sagenhaften beats, der voranschreitet, jazzt und funkt. sag ’minimal', und alle gehen nach hause, sag ’hey raabenstein' und alle bleiben sofort stehen und tanzen mit dem kopf und denken mit dem körper. der kerl hat derart viele farben und ideen auf der palette, dass es die helle freude ist. für diese scheibe hätte man den guten 1995 durch sämtliche elektro-feuilletons getragen, heute liegt es an euch, solche unscheinbaren großtaten zu entdecken und es weiterzusagen.
honker, terz magazin, germany 09/09

the berlin based nonine label has developed a distinctive style, focusing on spacious, dub-drenched techno which sacrifices danceability for off-the-cuff eccentricity and delights in disorienting the listener. label founder me raabenstein has spent more time curating other artists’ releases than making his own – this is his album since 2003 – but raabenstein_esk reveals nonine’s quirky aesthetic as well as anything else in the catalogue. the surging, propulsive low-end of his constructions is constantly undercut by the oddities elsewhere in the mix. chief amongst them is the regular presence of a portentous voice intoning baffling, bareful nursery rhymes, but lots of his other strategies have a similarly unsettling effect. overall, raabenstein’s blend of the slick and the surreal doesn’t entirely convince, but this is worth checking out if you have a confirmed taste for the bizarre.
the wire, uk 08/09

als raabensteinesk een woord was, dan was de omschrijving: een simele beat met gelaagde melodielijntjes, een merkbare industialinvloed en spaarzame stukjes spoken word. berlijner me raabenstein slaagt er met dit album in een eigen smoel te tekenen dat de term raabensteinesk met trots kan dragen. hij heeft overduidelijk weinig op met leegte. als gevolg van zijn horror vacui zitten de nummers op 'raabenstein_esk' soms propvol. af en toe werkt dat goed, andere keren is het gewoon te veel. ook hangt raabenstein een beetje tussen experimenteel elektronisch en toegankelijk elektronisch. wat de productieve duitser, die ook het nonine label runt, precies wil, is niet helemaal duidelijk. het zijn vragen die hij zichzelf niet zal stellen. hij lijkt zijn nummers tamelijk intuitief te maken. ondanks de kanttekeningen is 'raabenstein_esk' een album met genoeg inhoud om niet snel te gaan vervelen.
avdh, gonzo magazine, belgium 09/09

me raabenstein lotet mit seinem neuen album für das label nonine recordings die tiefen elektronischer obskurditäten aus und es macht durchaus spass, ihm bei seinem spagat zwischen eingängiger harmonie, atonalität und schrägen beats zuzuhören. dabei fühlt man sich bisweilen an die soundästhetik früherer burnt friedman werke erinnert, auch wenn herr raabenstein es gerne noch eine spur vertrackter treibt als dieser: 'island patois' etwa kombiniert dubbige akzente mit einem cool jazz ambiente und ist mit einem holprigen beat unterlegt, der irgendwie erinnerungen an das geräusch eines viel beschäftigten nadeldruckers weckt. 'counter esk' wiederum setzt klein gehackte vocal fetzen in kontrast zu jaulenden gitarren chords die klingen als hätte mike oldfield persönlich sie eingespielt und auch 'chimps in space part i & ii' versteht es mit einem ruhigen piano riff, angenehm warmem bass und engagiert stolpernden beats zu begeistern. 'rain over devon' schliesslich glänzt zu entspannter musikalischer untermalung mit herrlichen tongue-in-cheek vocals, die von mark gisbourne in bester märchenonkel manier dargeboten werden. kleine textprobe: 'a wise old owl lived in an oak / the more she saw the less she spoke / the less she spoke the more she heard / oh what a lonely wise old nerd'. unterm strich bleibt raabenstein_esk ein spannendes idm/ambient album, das auch labels wie nonplace, toytronic, planet mu, source oder -scape sehr gut zu gesicht gestanden hätte. (5/6)
fausto copy, raveline, germany 08/09

el nuevo lanzamiento del alemán me raabenstein llega en forma de ep. desde berín me raabenstein entrega este raabenstain esk 's que encierra un buen conjunto en formato "comprimido" de frequencias resonantes y minimal dub. me raabenstein crea un manifiesto sónico lleno de paletas sonoras muy coloristas. de naturaleza muy similar a la estética de los artistas dedicados a los paisajes sonoros, raabenstein_esk exuda un genial sentido armónico del sentimiento experimental.
atmosfera, rne3, spain 07/09

me raabenstein’s debut album raabenstein_esk has quite a number of glorious angles to it, beyond the obvious sense of the album as an accumulation of jazz inspired electronica, welding numerous beat structures with both open and broken renditions. clearly the mark gisbourne intoned poetry of raabenstein, in its curt and perfunctory rendition underscores its gleeful cynicism towards subjects such as christianity in ‘carpetbagger part i & ii’ to the demolition job on iconic images of wisdom in ‘rain over devon’. in ‘gutterface’, the straight lay down vocal style “hark hark/the dogs bark/the bankers are coming to town..” renders a circular mode of noting the noters noting, so to speak. detailing harbingers propensity for knocking over subjects in the very same mode is peculiar, even with the dry rendition, but i suppose that is where the humor exists. my favorite is a brash reworking of “the queen of hearts” nursery rhyme in ‘one for sunken eyes’ , whose dystopic hatchet is tweaked with dubbed out echoes just to add that extra ounce of wistful nuance. while the lyrics can thus be described, the real beauty is the intricate construction and programming. take the downtempo ‘rain over devon’ which struts its groove amongst shredded banjo strings and the wailing trombones of uwe langer. rabbenstein instills a maximum of experimentation with frameworks that are effective, while not limiting and it is the play with the edges of form and formlessness that makes this album a joy and not a collapsible mess of noise that sometimes substitutes for experimentation. or ‘counter esk’ with its scratched out house influenced movement accompanied by a cut up stutter vocal, permanent hesitation as accent playing against an insistent infectious groove. or ‘island patois’ with its clunky industrial entrance underscored by funk guitar insistence that remakes the mould and introduces jazz influenced melodic keyboard motifs. all the tracks here are patois of one form or the other, if all we are talking about is a nonstandard language understood by those who have the ability or inclination to speak or listen to the idea of fused concepts. raabenstein_esk as a whole is characteised by its immaculate production values, the accessibility and lack of pretension within its idea of experimentation. it is far too intelligent example to be popular or inspire a movement but maintains a cogent atmosphere throughout and is a gem that will travel far with the listener.
by far the best listening i have had this year.
innerversitysound, cyclic defrost, australia 07/09

raabenstein_esk , me raabenstein's first solo album release under his proper name, is fifty-seven minutes of—by his own admission—mutilated electronics and broken beats. more specifically, the nonine head specializes in a squiggly brand of electronic-jazz-funk fusion where clavinets, synthesizers, and guitars swim. a whiff of decadence rises off of raabenstein's new orleans-meets-berlin future-funk, and the album's material exudes a bit of miles's ‘70s voodoo-jazz vibe too. the german producer's joined by a small party of guests (e.g., trombonist uwe langer, bad seeds' drummer thomas wydler), but the one most prominently featured is “vocalist” mark gisbourne who growls surreal and impressionistic lyrics (penned by raabenstein) on a handful of the tracks—think jeremy irons at his most lascivious. in “gutterface,” gisbourne delivers his vocals in a noir-like drawl against a wiry, breakbeat-driven electro-funk backdrop, and adopts a raconteur role in “one for sunken eyes” (subtly referencing lewis carroll in the lines “the king of hearts, the king of hearts / all on a summer's day”) and “rain over devon” (“the wise old owl lived in an oak / the more she saw the less she spoke…”). in “carpetbagger part i & ii,” gisbourne's deep voice (“put on your caps and say your prayers / sandman comes...”) is ultimately trumped by the synth-bleeding broil churning underneath, while raabenstein elsewhere stirs viral cauldrons of black oil. in “island patois,” vibes add a little bit of jazz to the tune's twitchy electronic funk, while “chimps in space part i & ii” references fusion in its mix of piano, electronic noodling, and low-riding groove. at times ~scape-like in character, raabenstein_esk's music might be thought of as similar to a more uptempo and slightly less dub-oriented system.
ron schepper, textura, canada 07/09

„raabenstein_esk“ is the first outing from me raabenstein, the label boss of nonine records and also the musical mind behind slowcream and some other projects. that means, special attention is required (which means it takes us extra long to come to a conclusion aka review of the record.) well, you know how it is. those late nights shifts freeway flying always makes me sing. or recite prose. or mix beats and synths into cubist rhythms. but in some way it all makes sense, even or especially on an extra-musical level.

it is late at night. a disperse group of strangers has gathered in a confinement that offers the allusion of comfort but not the real meaning of it. everybody is tired. some are grumpy, but then their coffee latte is being served. it is that time of the night when it takes you one and a half hour to finish your pint of beer. there is an eerie banging in the room next to yours or outside the solidarity of the prison you share with other people you don’t want to mingle with. you spend no time to think about tomorrow because it is too close and to much filled with importance, so you rather not think about it. like all the other half dead half alive people trying to stay up until something arrives somewhere, until something effects and something else responds. until you see a sign telling you it is time to close your eyes and finally go to sleep. that kind of sense.

me raabenstein once again has recruited the vocalist from the last slowcream album to add his ominous, enigmatic, dark voice to the lyrics to his electronic soundscapes, which this time fuse the eerie and dark grammar of nonine with a certain weird funkiness that is hard to describe and even harder to follow. in other words, there is almost no headbanging and ass-shaking possible to this record, even though at first glance it might seem to invite just that. what is possible, though, is to sit your ass down, pour a drink and wonder about the world that world is going down to. or up, depending on your basic inclination. if you need to, then compare it to a mix of bip hop architectural post-codist electronica and a whole bunch of enterpreneurial artists slipping by and leaving traces. early industrial beats from early depeche mode to al jarreau vibraphone and from the bug heavy beats to the intricacy of trumn-artists tamaru or yui onodera all at once. mostly it is dark soundscapes depicting a world gone awfully awry, though.
some lights shine through the dark night, but not like beacons or roadsigns guiding the way, but rather like lost souls themselves. is it already jazz when the organ grinds and strange breaks in rhythm are accompanied by funky minimalist dance keys. mostly that shows that me raabenstein has lost all inhibitions of crossing or rather ignoring genre boundaries and probably that is what makes his ambient electronica (his own and the one on his label) more bearable, more interesting and fascinating than 95 % of what is available elsewhere.
georg gartlgruber, monochrom.at, austria 07/09

a lot has been written about the work of the label nonine recordings in european magazines and web portals, so do not wonder if you soon see it where you at least expected it. though its obvious avant-garde approach, this album will remain unclear for years (or even decades) to an average fun of modern electronic music. it is an avant-garde and bold piece, ahead of its time! me raabenstein is marching without problems on the open pop market!
horvi, terapija, croatia 06/09

me raabenstein's upcoming esk release for berlin, germany-based nonine recordings is one to keep an earmark on. offering nothing short of resonant frequencies and minimal dub highlights, me raabenstein creates sonic manifesto's full of colorful sound palette's. similar in nature to the aesthetic of ~scape recording artists, esk manages to exude a harmonic sense of balance and experimental edge. while at times somewhat rudimentary in terms of complexity, likely the artists' intention, the version of esk reviewed herein is not the finalized package. the likelihood of minor adjustments, additions and subtractions for this full length is bound to happen, yet the overall production is chemically exuberant. esk is a release that doesn't really push new territory; instead it outlines the progression of definitive minimal electronics for 2009.
pietro da sacco, igloomagazine, usa 04/09

others...

i enjoyed the album - some really nice ideas in it...
james barrie, global souljah & bbe records radio show, spain

großartige töne und atmosphären, danke dafür!
kölncampus radio, germany

gefällt mir super - sehr gut gemachter sound, der immer wieder überrascht und somit über die gesamte albumlänge spannend bleibt.
sven thomschke, dr. best, radio z, nürnberg, germany

i know that the me raabenstein name is well-known in the electronic music world, but to a largely jazz-based musician like myself his music came as a revelation. the sonic quality of it is so precise and refreshing i always feel i’m listening to it in a different way from most of the other stuff i hear. that’s not to say the content isn’t fascinating too; it is - constantly surprising and challenging.
chris bestwick, finland

esk is great. real minimal techno vibe but with a curiously different element to it. Listening now on headphones it's got some crazy effects to it, really complex but minimal progression. all in all one of the more interesting IDM creations I've heard so far...
dov waterman, london, uk

esk...... o my f#####g god. the beast... ooo the beats are sooo good. what did the artist eat??? haha. its incredibly different then anything else raabenstein has ever done, and yet it has that smooth raa signature. its a samba groove, electro yumminess. cool, its so in articulate...
david minor, palo alto, usa

i absolutely l o v e "chimps in space part i & ii". wow, what a track!!! it really touches me. i had it on repeat because i couldn't stop listening!!!
ruben koster, netherlands

i really like the new album, and i absolutely think raa's got something cool going on here. it feels uplifting and filled with a curious energy that's been there all along in nonine's music, but the curiosity seems to surface more clearly in this one. it reminds me of 'the!she.' indigo 12" wich is one of my personal favs of nonine's past releases. this new album got more melody and "traditional" musical elements, but still it has the unmistakable raabenstein' esk stroke. so whip me..., i like this shit...
tom christer johansen, oslo, norway

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