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nebel lang – hand in mine [whitelabrecs]

Nebel lang is the latest moniker for a traveling artist, originally from San Rafael, Argentina who is currently based in Kiel, Germany. Previous releases include ‘Chapters’ on Fluid Audio as well as ‘00000’ and ‘motionless for a’ on Minui. That’s not to mention some self-released digital editions via his own Bandcamp page. The name Nebel lang combines the German words for fog and lifelong, to be taken metaphorically as ‘lifelong uncertainty’. 

The Nebel lang sound is driven through improvisations, to capture chance moments that cannot be repeated. These sounds were impulsive, as if entirely natural, as part of the environment within a given moment in time. The tuning, environment and textural sound of a particular piano can never truly be replicated or reperformed. 

‘Hand in mine’ is an album comprised of an opener, ‘situate’ which is a short piece to help the listener establish the volume and equalisation settings of their sound system. It is followed by two longform pieces of improvised piano compositions performed in Dordogne, (France), on a self-tuned upright piano. The first of the two album pieces is fluid, with a rhythm that ebbs and flows. The second is intentionally quieter and more sparse. This emphasises the need for ‘situate’ to establish with you the listener, your choice of volume setting. If moments sound quiet, it is entirely deliberate. 

Two years on from the original recordings, the nuances and details of these sessions had long-since been lost. Additional artists were invited to collaborate and add an extra perspective to these recordings. Bailey Rose was asked to write some words and this lent the album its title as well as an accompanying story. Visual artists Albarran Cabrera were asked to provide the accompanying imagery from their ‘Kairos’ series, which represents their concept ‘the eternal present’, a fitting companion to these sounds. 

WORDS BY BAILEY ROSE: 

“i walk backwards into your room. with each step i age a year. i sit down beside you aged ten. “where are we going?” you ask me. i pull you out of bed. you’re facing me, of course. i step backwards, you step forwards. i reach thirty at your front door. you laugh and ask me when i will explain what’s going on. you were eighty in bed but with each step that number’s decreased by one. i hurry you outside and in the night our breath plumes frosty. i rub your hands and pray that you’ll stay with me ‘til the river. fifty steps, on my count last night. we sing to stay warm, a faded tune, but our voices sound quite bright. at thirty-five, you stop and say “i don’t want to be a child again.” i look at you and sigh. soon i’ll be old enough to be your grandmother, and we’ll sit by the river to say goodbye. i step backwards, you step forwards, your frame shrinks, your voice changes, beard grows backwards into your cheeks. i step backwards, you step forwards, my strength falters, my skin crumples, thoughts turn inwards, slow and weak. we collapse together on the bench by the waterside. i hold you while you shiver. i take your hand in mine, and we look out across the river.”

released February 20, 2021 

Written and produced by Nebel lang
Recorded in 2019 at “un temps, un lieu”
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Albarran Cabrera
Words by Bailey Rose

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