Musician, composer, sound engineer, and writer, the multitalented Rami Abadir teased listeners with two sounds from his new experimental album, Pause​/​Stutter​/​Uh​/​Repeat. Taking on the difficult task of basing its essence in the intricacies of human speech, the German-based Egyptian artist looks at non-obvious habits in our communication, with unacknowledged utterances such as “uh” and “like” serving as the bedrock of the album.

Like many good conversations, the album’s first teaser track, ‘IV’, starts out cluttered. Echoing stutters with dystopian 808s, Abadir leaves us uncertain whether it is a techno track or a dark film score. Whichever it is, the intricate sound design gives the track a gloomy and atmospheric feel. Midway, the track takes a peaceful turn, before a psychedelic stream of synths helps listeners through a harmonic destination. The various voices in the track do not induce discomfort, but their clutter serves as a path for a sort of sonic climax.

Rami Abadir is seeking to reach an understanding of music beyond its harmonies. The effort of making a song based on speech utterances is difficult in itself, let alone trying to form a narrative out of it. But what the musician has demonstrated in his project is an acknowledgement of overlapping similarities between the composition of speech and music production, and how they are a series of composed segments devising to form a coherent product.

Photo credit: Hassan Emad