SLOWSCREAM: River Of Flesh (Nonine Recordings)


Posted on Jan 12th 2011 01:22 am

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Slowcream: River Of Flesh

River Of Flesh
Nonine Recordings 2010
06 Tracks. 41mins45secs

Set at the confines of modern classical, electro-acoustic, Musique Concrète and ambient electronica, Slowcream is a strange beast. The solo project of Me Raabenstein, who also heads Nonine Recordings, Slowcream first appeared in 2008 with Live Long And Prosper, an album which largely relied on electronic textures. It is however with his third album, And, published at the end of 2009 that Raabenstein finally gained the recognition he deserved. Originally a commission for a modern dance project, the record, on which Greg Haines contributed cello on a handful of tracks, established a very textural sound, at times comparable to some of the Miasmah’s catalogue.

With River Of Flesh, Raabenstein refines his sonic space once again, bringing in the haunting ambiences of its predecessor and adding some intense processing. Decay is often an integrant part of this record, but, unlike most of his contemporaries, Raabenstein only rarely lets his music become overly dark. Instead, his soundscapes, although often extremely fragmented and complex, demonstrate a surprising lightness of spirit which fuels delicate melodic motifs throughout. It is not to say however than River Of Flesh is a straightforward record. Working with multiple loops, layered into structures which can in turn appear intensely organic or mechanical, and positioning them very precisely in his compositions, Raabenstein shows a sharp understanding of atmospheric settings and how he can affect his compositions by altering them even with the slightest of nudges. This is particularly the case on Spiritual Training In Cataclysm and Atrocity which open. On the former, Raabenstein works a textured drone from what appears to be a processed bell sound, slowly bringing it to life by constantly adjusting its tone and adding shimmering electronics and scraps of melody to it. On the later, he takes a more orchestral approach, layering it with the recurring processed sound of fingers sliding on guitar strings.

Unspeakable Acts also revolves around slowly evolving patterns, but here, the build up is more linear, continuously developing from the distorted string work which open the piece. On Hunting Song or closing piece Aesthetics In History however, Raabentein conjures more complex progressions and goes through a number of sequences on each piece, especially on the latter, which opens with ethereal electronic textures which, remaining very dreamy in the first half of the composition, are progressively brought back to more earthy sound forms in the second half.

With River Of Flesh, Me Raabenstein refines his blend of dense electronic textures and modern composition to create a rather haunting soundtrack which, despite some sombre moments, never becomes overly heavy or ominous. Undeniably contemporary, yet very personal, this is Slowcream’s most compelling record to date.


Slowcream (MySpace) | Nonine Recordings

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