format: digital artist album
release date: february 18, 2013
distributed by nonine recordings
01 green leaf lettuce
02 scruff deuced
03 pyramids of tin
04 bog let
05 bounder reed’s sneer
07 education apparatus
08 sheppard’s gate
09 bitten by the fox
all tracks written and performed by andrea ferraris and me raabenstein,
produced and mixed by me raabenstein.
mastered by shapemod, berlin.
artwork by wolfgang sangmeister,
cover design by simonraabenstein.com
sherlock holmes is one of the most fascinating fictional characters ever. published by sir arthur conan doyle between 1887 and 1914, his adventures and skills have since created
a plethora of interpretations. wether it’s holmes’ ability to draw major conclusions from the smallest observations, or the thrilling decadence of the late 19th century bathed in an omnipresent, mysterious fog, doyle’s stories offer a fruitful ground for free creative interpretations.
next to holmes, his friend and biographer dr. john watson, and holmes’ obscure relation to irene adler, the stories cover a huge range of personal and interpersonal topics. however, the two most captivating personages seem to be holmes’ brother mycroft and his archenemy professor moriarty, a.k.a the evil lord. this is where the latest nonine recordings release ‘mycroft. quincunx’ comes into play. the album is a sonic fiction dedicated to a literate one.
in command of deductive powers exceeding even those of his younger brother, mycroft holmes is nevertheless incapable of performing regular detective duty. instead he works for the british govermment, serving as a sort of human computer. ‘the conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse that makes out the balance’.
mycroft investigates in the hidden reasons behind john moriarty’s treatise ‘upon the binomial theorem’ that won the man the mathematical chair of a smaller university, and made him professor. soon he discovers cryptic links to the work of sir thomas browne, hermetic author and writer of ‘the garden of cyrus’, a neo-pythgorean vision of the interconnection of art, nature and the universe.the idiosyncatic work contains a vertiginous procession of visual imagery and objects, reinforcing constantly how god geometrizes via the symbols of the number five and quincunx patterns. searching deeper in this subject, mycroft discovers philosophical and religious articulations leading him to another hermetic mathematician and analyst of occult studies, sir isaac newton, and his law of gravity. mycroft soon finds out that if professor moriarty would question these essential laws by proving their hermetic false background in the quincunx...
a society based on these laws had to fall apart...
sit back, relax, and listen to the musical score of this outrageous fiction. mycroft holmes’ first own novel on the stunning mystery of the quincunx will hold your breath.practicing both as artists and critical writers, italian experimental musician andrea ferraris and nonine head me raabenstein are the ones behind the mycroft project.
constant support in the promotion of uncompromised and challenging electronic music from today, nonine digital recordings are back with a wonderfully 'mysterious' new release titled 'quincunx' (by the artist mycroft). the conceptual background admits a serious relationship with the tense, socio-fictional and unrevealed atmospheres which prevail in detective stories, in particular from conan doyle’s novels. the release info stresses the fact that the major influence behind the birth of this release is the remarkable enigmatic gallery of portraits and characters offered by sherlock holmes’ tasty and intriguing detective stories. consequently the musical identity of this release is largely turned to musical metaphors and sound figures connected to mystery, to the depth of night, to the complex alchemy of thoughts and obvious lessons given by some good detective stories about all sorts of things: on man and his doubts, his dilemmas and enigmas. the musical score can be appreciated as a virtual soundtrack to accompany those kind of readings, it could be perfectly associated to some film-noirs if this genre would admit contemporary forms related to our modern society. the textural sound forms are sustained by a vast collection of nocturne-soothing jazzy sequences, highly emotional and classicized. the whole acoustic-natural jazzy mix is punctuated by efficient and discernible electronic melodies, rhythms and timbres. some tracks—such as 'education apparatus'—contain a great dose of tripped-out jazzy atmospheric grooves. 'bitten by the fox' admits really nice 60s retro-ish b grade soundtracky feelings. a continuous pleasant listening, a charming and extremely diversified effort in the spectrum of twilight-textured electro jazz minimalism.
phlippe blache, igloomagazine, usa 02/13
hi me and andrea, could you try and unravel the mistery of this album for me, which is “a sonic fiction dedicated to a literate one”. how did you two meet and how did the project come about?
me: actually, andrea and me came together through my nonine recordings releases. over a very long period of time andrea wrote a bunch of very positive, celebrating reviews of nonine albums for several magazines. after a while we started a dialogue beside that typical promotional chitchat about personal thoughts, politics and music. finally we came to talk about the possibility creating a project together, nothing intentional then, but soon we decided to go for an album. we did send tracks, additions, cutouts and such over the period of more than a year via ftp servers without having a single controversy. that was very unique and joyous.
you have chosen a fictional theme for the album and yet any possible narrative is constantly disrupted from the word go. the album opener green leaf lettuce starts with a piano line interspersed with a languid clarinet melody. one minute in and it all goes pear shaped with the introduction of electronic interferences that disrupt the particular timbre of the track. beats emerge in scraff deuced opening up yet new avenues of interpretation. how does one navigate through the album when the music pulls you in some many different directions? what are the clues one should be following?
me: quincunx works like an ideal score, in other words the total revolution of the typical collateral sonic product contemporary feature films display. we, mycroft, offer a small content introduction only, a keyhole to a fictional story, it’s a map without streets, you must find your way alone though the hills. that’s the genuine experimental part and gate of quincunx, can we create or even manipulate the attendant thoughts and imaginations of the listener, or in other words, why is the story of the emperor’s new clothes still so fascinating?
could you tell me something about the particular instrumentation of the album with its heavy use of wind instruments and the piano? the “noirish jazzy” feel makes me think of john zorn and naked city and yet one is never sure where the next track will lead to. was that intentional?
me: taking a close listen to andrea’s works and mine to date, quincunx feels like a logical progression. his experimental zones and my jazzy/dubbish background merge perfectly. the album is an apposite amalgam of programmed and recorded instrumentation. andrea invited a bunch of brilliant musicians to play on the tracks, and i guess subconsciously we had a lot of fun creating that scurry, constantly changing and vexing atmosphere on the tracks. strangely enough, though, after having decided to work together, we never ever spoke about which direction to take, quincunx just came out like this. that’s a very rare fruit, you do know musicians’ usual attitude, don’t you…
andrea: me has just said it all, i will simply add that a fellow musician after repeated listenings commented by saying: “…the whole is equal to the sum of its parts” since he could easily recognize my “contemporary/concrete/noisy/freaky” touch and me’s classy electronic style.
the album has been described as cinematic, eclectic and experimental. indeed the cinematic feel give the impression of a score. there seem to be emerging theme tunes in tracks like bitten by the fox, occasional spoken words, and snippets of “incidental music”. what were the filmic references you drew from?
me: it’s all about our gods, for sure. listing them all here would overcharge this space. a simple square of four names might show my main filmic influences: jerry goldsmith, elmer bernstein, christopher nolan, paul thomas anderson. hopefully you can’t hear, see any of them in the album, i would not dare coming close to them.
andrea: …considering i’m overexposed to music and i’ve always considered it as a “soundtrack”, that’s probably why even when i was a square minded hardcore punk teenager angry with the world (have i really wrote “was” ????! ah, ah…;-) i used to appreciate artists like sade, talk talk, les negress vertes, bomb the bass, etc. i was so damn bored of intransigent listeners. at the time i thought it had to do with the fact i was a weirdo, now i know it just has to do with the fact that music for me was, and still is, a soundtrack. i listen to so many different styles of music, i still can listen to a lot of extreme music even if there’s no trace of it in many records i’ve put out so far. during the last years i’ve also played with ensembles/bands involved in sonorizations, sountracks, ballets, whatever. if i’ve to drop a name i’d say the music for films composed by morricone, nino rota, john zorn and david shea has always had a big impact on my “libido”.
finally, is there going to be a sequel to quincunx?
me: from the very moment we laid down our tools once we finished with quincunx, we thought of start working on a second album straight away. if this will be a second mycroft holmes adventure we don’t know yet, maybe one should not extend a brainchild too much?
andrea: maybe next time we’ll revive moriarty’s brother to kick mycroft ass… otherwise we could brig together the whole rametep… but if you don’t remember berry levinson’s “young sherlock holmes” you won’t get my stupid joke… eh,eh..;-)
gianmarco del re, fluid radio, uk 02/13
liking the mycroft vibe, will slip a track in the show...
james barrie, audio texture radio show, spain 02/13
das album läuft hier gerade, und wurde auf anhieb für gut befunden ! werde ich mir heute abend bei einer gepflegten tasse tee nochmals in ruhe anhören...
sven thomschke, radio z, germany 02/13
cay taylan, couch records, austria 01/13
danke dafür, ganz geil... ok, voll geil !!!
andreas neubauer, einsnulleins, germany 01/13
wow !!! mycroft video and album was journey !! very eerie feeling to it ! love the sounds!
dee banse, kanada 01/13
deep & dope ! well done, nonine recordings !!!
guido halfmann, jazz thing, germany 12/12
loalue, reggio, italy 12/12
'bog let' und 'sheppard's gate sind sehr gute nummern...
tim thaler, bln.fm, germany 12/12
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