Friday, 19 March 2021

Wah-Wah Whispers (Bureau B vinyl LP & CD compilation)

AMBIENTBLOG:
Ever since he released his music in the early ’80s (1983, to be exact), Michel Banabila has been hard topinpoint to a specific genre or style. His musical output includes jazz, experimental cut-up electronics, worldmusic (especially influenced by the Fourth World music as developed by Jon Hassell), New Age, eclectic poptunes, music for dance or other stage projects, and soundtracks for TV productions. Some listeners may havefound it somewhat difficult throughout the years to find their way in this versatile output that includes verydifferent genres. Because of this versatility Banabila has grown into one of the most fascinating musicians in Europe and wasalways highly acclaimed by critics, which was well deserved. Nevertheless – for possibly that very samereason his work never came across the radar of most people, and that is something he does not deserve.When diving deeper into his output, one gets familiar with the trademark Banabila sound: his personal waysof using samples, the way he incorporates vocal fragments, the fact that there is always an emotional layeryou can relate to, even in his most abstract works.Over the years, Banabila’s work has progressed and evolved in different directions. It must be weird for anycreative artist when the interest of new audiences (and labels) focuses on your earlier work - work that youhave long left behind while exploring new directions. On the other hand: Whoever gets interested in yourolder work may also want to explore the newer stuff (which means they have almost forty years to explore,just imagine!).For this particular release, Bureau B chose a different approach. Instead of archiving early works from the1980s, Wah-Wah Whispers focuses on Banabila’s more recent output. It is a collection of works showcasingmany facets of his music: a journey visiting the minimal and cinematic sample scape in the opener Take MeThere, a robotic reggae-like rhythm (Tic Tac), contemplative ambient / fourth world scenes evolving into adownright funky beat (Hidden Story), the synth version of Secunde, and more. The album ends with akaleidoscope of atmospheres gradually building up to a noise climax in Narita (the only collaboration track onthe album, with Rutger Zuydervelt / Machinefabriek).No single compilation album could really do justice to the massive scope of Banabila’s output since 1983, butwith Wah-Wah Whispers, Bureau B did a wonderful job to facilitate a view into his more recent work (2013-2020, with the exception of Tic Tac, which is from 2001).This album is an invitation that may lead to explore Banabila’s back catalogue and dive deeper into the workof one of Holland’s most creative independent artists.- Peter van Cooten

JUNO DAILY:
The best new albums this week: Wah-Wah Whispers (April 2021)

There are certain artists whose oeuvre is so monolithic it can be tricky knowing where to begin – the kind of auteurs who exist outside trends and scenes and simply spend their lives forming mountains of published material for hapless listeners to scale. Dutch tinkerer Michel Banabila is certainly one of those, who since 1983 has steadily issued all kinds of material spanning different approaches and styles with an overall inquisitive, leftfield slant whether dealing in rhythms or ambience, field recordings or synthesis.
 Bureau B here provide a snapshot into (relatively) more recent Banabila output, which focuses on work from the past 10 years. Admittedly, the one exception is also one of the album highlights – the surprisingly groove-oriented tickover of 2001 piece ‘Tic Tac’ replete with owl noises and a crime jazz bent. But if Wah-Wah Whispers functions as a compilation of sorts, it doesn’t feel like one. The varying shades, from pastoral composition ‘Branches’ to the widescreen electronica of ‘Secunde Reprise’, keep the listening ear engaged and guessing. The humid fug and treated turtle flute on the title track certainly calls to mind a noted influence, Jon Hassell, but Banabila brings his own vivid production sensibilities to bear on his interpretation of the Fourth World aesthetic. With depth and diversity at every turn, at the very least this concise collection hints at the many styles of Banabila that lie in wait of intrepid explorers. (OW)

HHV MAG:
Manche Musik ist auf so idiosynkratische Weise eigen, dass man Gefahr läuft, ihre Besonderheit zu überhören – oder sie gleich komplett zu überhören. Der Holländer Michel Banabila passt, wenn überhaupt, dann in diese Kategorie. Seit den 1980er Jahren veröffentlicht der Klangkünstler seine Aufnahmen, die abstrakte Ethno-Collagen, sehr entspannte elektronische Groove-Nummern in gemäßigtem Tempo oder auch Field Recordings gern schon mal in ein und demselben Stück kombinieren. Mittlerweile sind von ihm ziemlich viele Alben erschienen, seit einigen Jahren veröffentlicht er bevorzugt auf seinem Label Tapu Records. Das Hamburger Label Bureau B hatte 2016 mit der Compilation »Early Works / Things Popping Up from the Past« einen ersten kleinen Einblick in seine Anfangsjahre gegeben. Mit Wah-Wah Whispers sind jetzt seine jüngeren Veröffentlichungen zwischen 2013 und 2020 dran. Auch hier bildet die für Banabila typische Mischung, die schon in seinen frühen Aufnahmen entwickelt ist, die Klammer der acht etwas ausgedehnteren Nummern. Im Titelstück dieser Compilation verneigt er sich dabei recht vernehmlich vor einem seiner Einflüsse: Sowohl der verfremdete Trompeten (?)-Klang als auch die digitale diskrete Perkussion lassen als Vorbild die Fourth World Music von Jon Hassell erkennen. Eine ebenfalls sehr eigene Inspiration, was für Michel Banabilas Kosmos als Referenz allemal in Ordnung geht. Ein Klangforscher, der unaufdringlich für sich einnimmt. (Tim Caspar Boehme)

BABYBLAUE SEITEN:
Der Niederländer Michel Banabila scheint ein ewiger Geheimtipp zu sein, weil er stilistisch in keine Schublade passt. Seit 1983 veröffentlich er seine Musik, auf seine Popularität scheint es jedoch keinen großen Einfluss gehabt zu haben. Andererseits seien ihm viele positive Kritiken schon immer sicher gewesen, heißt es. Unter seinen Arbeiten befinden sich die Filmmusiken, Videokunst und die Musiken für Theater und Choreographien. „Wah-Wah Whispers“ nennt sich die Zusammenstellung seiner Arbeiten, die sich allerdings der jüngeren Zeit im Schaffen von Banabila widmet. Das älteste Stück stammt aus dem Jahr 2001. Schon bei dem eröffnenden „Take Me There“ fällt mir die ungewöhnliche Kombination aus kreativ eingesetzten Samples sowie akustischen und elektronischen Klängen auf, die insgesamt eine melancholisch-geheimnisvolle Stimmung erzeugt. In „Tic Tac“ ähnelt der Rhythmus zwar Reggae, hat gleichzeitig jedoch etwas Mechanisches und Hypnotisches an sich. Zudem sorgen die Arrangements für eine bedrohlich wirkende Atmosphäre. Die cineastischen Klangbilder von „Branches“ halte ich für sehr phantasieanregend. Wie eine morgens aufwachende Natur in einem grenzenlosen Wald. Eine Verschmelzung von futuristischen, ambient-artigen und ethnischen Klängen wurde einst von Jon Hassell als Fourth World Music beschrieben. Vergleichbares bietet auch „Hidden Story“, das zudem noch gesampelte Stimmen, sphärische Gitarren, afrikanisch anmutende Rhythmen und einiges mehr bereithält. In die gleiche Kerbe schlägt auch „Wah-Wah Whispers“, wobei die Rolle der Trompete möglicherweise von einer stark verfremdeten Stimme übernommen wird. Die episch-melancholischen Stimmungen lassen mich bei „Out of Sync“ sofort an Postrock denken. Es ist die ambientartig-elektronische, mit Field Recordings und Samples versehene Version von Postrock, die uns in eine magische Landschaft entführen kann. Ohne Rhythmussektion, dafür mit mehrstimmigen lyrischen Gitarren. „Secunde Reprise“ halte ich für eine Verschmelzung von Elektronik, Modern Prog und Postrock. Die knackigen Rhythmen, die dissonanten Gitarreneinwürfe, die Sequenzer und die verstreuten Pianoakkorde erzeugen ein ungewöhnliches Gesamtbild. „Narita“ ist eine Zusammenarbeit mit Rutger „Machinenfabriek“ Zuydervelt“. In dem Stück kontrastieren noisig übersteuerte Instrumente mit ausgleichend meditativen Schleifen, die Flöten- und Dudelsack-Klänge zu verarbeiten scheinen. Eine interessante Zusammenstellung, die wie gesagt einiges an Vielfalt bietet, und zwar zwischen Elektronik, Fourth World Music, Ambient, Postrock und einigen Arrangements, für die es wahrscheinlich noch keine stilistischen Schubladen gibt. (Siggy Zielinski)

SCHADUWKABINET/SUBJECTIVISTEN:
Ambient, experimentele muziek, avant-garde tot jazz, wereldmuziek, filmmuziek, neoklassiek, new age en kabaal, ja de Rotterdamse muzikant, producent en componist Michel Banabila heeft het allemaal. Maar zonder gekkigheid, sinds Banabila in 1983 is begonnen met muziek uit te brengen, heeft hij ook echt van alles uitgebracht. Dat gaat van prijswinnende en innovatieve solowerken tot invloedrijke wereldmuziek met East Meets West, meditatieve ambient met Chi en meer experimentele ambient met Cloud Ensemble. Daarnaast werkt hij veelvuldig met andere artiesten samen, waaronder Yasar Saka, Hannes Vennik, Scanner, Radboud Mens, Philippe Petit, Mete Erker, Oene van Geel, Maarten Vos, Eric Vloeimans en last but not least Machinefabiek. Hoewel de muziek behoorlijk varieert, weet Banabila altijd wel een voor hem kenmerkende stempel te drukken en maakt hij muziek die dikwijls toonaangevend is. Het is muziek ingegeven door nieuwsgierigheid en een hang naar avontuur. Wat dat betreft is hij net zo breed en bijzonder als Hector Zazou was. Toch zit deze eigengereide variatie hem qua bekendheid ook wel eens in de weg. Hij verdient een veel groter podium dan hij nu soms krijgt. Dat moeten ze bij het prestigieuze label Bureau B ook gedacht hebben, want ze brengen er nu de compilatie Wah-Wah Whispers van Michel Banabila uit. En geen gewone “best of”, maar een uitgekiend overzicht van tracks die van 2013 tot 2020 zijn verschenen plus één van het album Spherics uit 2001. De overige 7 tracks zijn afkomstig van de albums Travelog (2013, samen met Machinefabriek) en Tapu Sampler (2016) en de digitale releases Just Above The Surface (2018), tweemaal Everything Else Is Just Right Here (2018), Spherics III en Always There (2020). Dat laatste is voor mensen zoals ik, die niets met digitale releases hebben, al helemaal goed nieuws. Het zijn overigens de wat meer toegankelijke en subtiele tracks, maar die geven toch heel goed de avontuurlijkheid, speelsheid en biologerende bijzonderheid van zijn muziek weer. Je belandt in een parallel universum, een wondere wereld vol bezinnende, biologerende en verstrooiende pracht, die ergens zit tussen de “fourth world music” van Jon Hassell en de wereldse avant-garde van Hector Zazou. Dit nieuwe album vormt tevens de perfecte instapplaat voor degene die Banabila nog niet zo goed kennen, maar ook voor de fans is dit een originele schakering van muziekstukken, die van toegevoegde waarde is. Banabila is en blijft een schitterend unicum. (JanWillem Broek)

VITAL WEEKLY 1276:
Usually, when an artist is around for some time, there are a few compilations with the 'best-of' of early material, but on 'Wah-Wah Whispers' by Michel Banabila this is not the case. This is a 'best of' recent work, as all pieces are from 2013 to 2020 with one from 2001. It is a selection made by Bureau B from Michel Banabila's vast catalogue from his Tapu Records, found online. Stuff that so far reached a small audience, but which, so Bureau B thinks, should be heard by more people. Quite rightly so, of course. A bigger label equals a bigger budget for promotion and (hopefully, of course) a wider audience and with the kind of music Banabila creates, I can easily see a bigger audience available; if only they knew it was out there. In the past, I, all to easily/hastily, said something about fourth world music in connection with Banabila, but that is only a small portion of the man's vast output. His electronic music covers much more than just sampled ethnic percussion and exotic mood scapes. You can find them here as well, but there are minimalism and maximalism to be found here too. Found voices, percussion, soundtrack-like soundscapes, dubby music (the 2001 track 'Tic Tac'), field recordings in 'Out of sync' and in 'Hidden Story' reminded me of Jorge Reyes and O Yuki Conjugate in quite the same exotic style of music, while 'Secunde Reprise' is almost a straight forward piece of ambient house with a strong motorik sequencer. A bit of noise (controlled as it is!) we find at the end in 'Narita', which is the only collaborative piece around here, with Machinefabriek, which is a descent and ascent in the world of drones with a civilized amount of distortion in the middle. It is, altogether, the perfect introduction to this fantastic composer's recent output. If you are looking for something great and not all too strange to play when you have visitors who don't like your outer limits music collection, you should not look further. (FdW)



All tracks recorded, performed, composed & produced by Michel Banabila, except ‘Narita’ performed, composed & produced by Michel Banabila & Rutger Zuydervelt.
Voice samples on ‘Narita’ by All N4tural & Yuko Parris.
Guitar on ‘Hidden Story’ by Cok van Vuuren.
'Tic Tac' was previously published by Tone Casualties / Boudisque Recording / Steamin’Songs.
Track 1 & 2 originally mastered by Michel Banabila,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 originally mastered by Marlon Wolterink.

Artwork by Anh Thu Vu.
Compiled by Daniel Jahn.
Remastered by Detlef Funder.
Executive Producer: Daniel Jahn & Gunther Buskies.
Licensed from Tapu Records for Bureau B, published by Tapete Songs.



1. Take Me There (from: Tapu Sampler / 2016)
2. Tic Tac (from: Spherics / 2001)
3. Branches (from: Always There / 2020)
4. Hidden Story (from: Everywhere Else Is Just Right Here / 2018)
5. Out Of Sync (from: Just Above The Surface / 2018)
6. Secunde - Reprise (from: Spherics III / 2020)
7. Wah-Wah Whispers (from: Everywhere Else Is Just Right Here / 2018)
8. Narita (by Banabila & Machinefabriek, from: Travelog / 2013)


Cat No: BB363.
UPC/EAN: 4015698104844.


BUREAU B
www.bureau-b.com
TAPETE RECORDS
www.tapeterecords.de

2021 © + ℗ Bureau B.


video by David Kleijwegt.

LIBERO BLOG:
Electronica sperimentale pervade l'aria della stanza chiusa. Wah - Wah Whispers esplode di enorme originalità e creatività. Nubi polverose si addensano all'orizzonte, ed i battiti di queste composizioni martellano il loro sapere. In questa opera si esercitano poteri distanti. Nessuna manipolazione, solo esercizio di stile e classe. Classe innata per un suono che invade l'etere. Note complicate e mirabili che nascondono l'amarezza di fondo. Tutto è preciso in queste canzoni. Loop che sognano territori impervi per ricordarsi di potere dimenticare... (Claudio Baroni)



SUBJECTIVISTEN NNM:
Ambient, experimentele muziek, avant-garde tot jazz, wereldmuziek, filmmuziek, neoklassiek, new age en kabaal, ja de Rotterdamse muzikant, producent en componist Michel Banabila heeft het allemaal. Maar zonder gekkigheid, sinds Banabila in 1983 is begonnen met muziek uit te brengen, heeft hij ook echt van alles uitgebracht. Dat gaat van prijswinnende en innovatieve solowerken tot invloedrijke wereldmuziek met East Meets West, meditatieve ambient met Chi en meer experimentele ambient met Cloud Ensemble. Daarnaast werkt hij veelvuldig met andere artiesten samen, waaronder Yasar Saka, Hannes Vennik, Scanner, Radboud Mens, Philippe Petit, Mete Erker, Oene van Geel, Maarten Vos, Eric Vloeimans en last but not least Machinefabiek. Hoewel de muziek behoorlijk varieert, weet Banabila altijd wel een voor hem kenmerkende stempel te drukken en maakt hij muziek die dikwijls toonaangevend is. Het is muziek ingegeven door nieuwsgierigheid en een hang naar avontuur. Wat dat betreft is hij net zo breed en bijzonder als Hector Zazou was. Toch zit deze eigengereide variatie hem qua bekendheid ook wel eens in de weg. Hij verdient een veel groter podium dan hij nu soms krijgt.
Dat moeten ze bij het prestigieuze label Bureau B ook gedacht hebben, want ze brengen er nu de compilatie Wah-Wah Whispers van Michel Banabila uit. En geen gewone “best of”, maar een uitgekiend overzicht van tracks die van 2013 tot 2020 zijn verschenen plus één van het album Spherics uit 2001. De overige 7 tracks zijn afkomstig van de albums Travelog (2013, samen met Machinefabriek) en Tapu Sampler (2016) en de digitale releases Just Above The Surface (2018), tweemaal Everything Else Is Just Right Here (2018), Spherics III en Always There (2020). Dat laatste is voor mensen zoals ik, die niets met digitale releases hebben, al helemaal goed nieuws. Het zijn overigens de wat meer toegankelijke en subtiele tracks, maar die geven toch heel goed de avontuurlijkheid, speelsheid en biologerende bijzonderheid van zijn muziek weer. Je belandt in een parallel universum, een wondere wereld vol bezinnende, biologerende en verstrooiende pracht, die ergens zit tussen de “fourth world music” van Jon Hassell en de wereldse avant-garde van Hector Zazou. Dit nieuwe album vormt tevens de perfecte instapplaat voor degene die Banabila nog niet zo goed kennen, maar ook voor de fans is dit een originele schakering van muziekstukken, die van toegevoegde waarde is. Banabila is en blijft een schitterend unicum. (Jan Willem Broek)

Order here: https://orcd.co/banabila

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Across The Sky

The first time Stijn Huwels and Cok van Vuuren collaborated with Michel Banabila was in April 2020. They made an extremely peaceful 12-minute track in reaction to all the stress in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to soothe some of the stress and calm you down. The track was picked up by Apple Music and added to one of their playlists, resulting in over 600.000 streams in just a few months, still increasing to this day. banabila.bandcamp.com/track/one-moment-in-time




Across The Sky' is their second collaboration, maintaining a positive vibe, this time with a little more emphasis on rhythm. Droney synths and imaginative electronics are mixed with space guitars, all infused with analog elusive layers of tape echo and reverb. Complemented with artwork by Rutger Zuydervelt and beautifully mastered by Marlon Wolterink.

This single is a download only.

Michel Banabila: keys & sampler.
Stijn Hüwels: el. guitar & field rec.
Cok van Vuuren: el. guitar.



Artwork by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Produced by Michel Banabila.
Mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.

Cat. nr. TR0212D03.
UPC 196006046972.
2021 ℗ Tapu Records.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The Three Stages Of Endurance

I bought this little handmade clay flute in 1982, which means this must be the single oldest instrument that I own. It cost 5 Dutch guilders at the time (roughly 2,50 euro, I suppose). It’s certainly the only item from 1982 that I have in my entire house. I made one of my first recordings with this flute, and I still use it every now and then in combination with electronic treatments.



On one occasion the flute slipped through my fingers and fell to the floor, but surprisingly it didn’t break. Another time I had this admittedly stupid plan, which was to change the color, and an even more stupid plan, which was to use fire to do so. I figured the fire would remove the original color. It didn’t work, but it didn’t hurt it, either, fortunately. The flute still has its original color, and it is still working fine. These days I am very careful with it, and I appreciate that this little instrument is still with me.



This material originated as something I made for a project that didn’t work out. At first I wasn’t sure what, if anything, to do with it, but then I realized I like it just as it is. I decided to not add anything, and to instead simply mix these six tracks (two for each part, as this piece is basically in three parts) together into one file. That file then became this EP.



This EP is a download only.

music & artwork by Michel Banabila.
mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.

a special thanks to Marc Weidenbaum.
Cat. nr. TR03012021.
2021 ℗ Tapu Records.
UPC 195497844036.

Untitled

Friday, 18 December 2020

Robert Jarvis & Michel Banabila: 'An Agreement Of Sorts'





It was back in February 2012 that Michel contacted me to say he had sent me an mp3 "with a funny melody". "I am just wondering if you can play that. Exactly with the same tuning", he said. I had a listen and thought "You must be joking", as what I was presented with appeared to have no fixed notes nor conventional tuning, and sounded almost impossible to play. (I learnt later that the synthesized tune he had sent me was a melodic tracking - via software - of the musical pitches inherent in the voice of a man talking, recorded in Ghana by his friend Mark Dingemanse from the Radboud University). I put the strange sounding melody on repeat so that I could listen to it again and again, and by playing along continuously with it I eventually found the required notes on the trombone. After a week I could play the whole thing. And that was 2012. More recently, I found myself thinking, "Whatever happened to that tune". I had done a lot of work on it, and it seemed to have disappeared with no resulting composition appearing. So, I searched through my archives, found mine and Michel's original recordings, and played around with them until I had the beginnings of something coherent. At this point I contacted Michel, and he performed his usual magic, and eight years later we have our composition! Over the years Michel and I have occasionally swapped musical ideas, and our 'B-side' is the result of another such exchange, from a recording a year earlier. (Robert Jarvis, Faversham, December, 2020)





This single is a download only.

Robert Jarvis: trombone.
Michel Banabila: synth & sampler.
Recorded in Faversham & Rotterdam via file sharing.
Written & performed by Robert Jarvis & Michel Banabila.





Cat. nr. TR121220.
2020 ℗ Tapu Records.
UPC 195497778669.
Cover art by Michel Banabila.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Ambient Layers

'Cassina', (Banabila & Machinefabriek) is out now, as part of 'Ambient Layers', a new compilation by 7K! Records. Other artists on the compilation include Adam Wiltzie, Herdis Stefánsdóttir, Robert Lippok, Rutger Hoedemaekers, Lisa Morgenstern, and many more



Backseatmafia:
Banabila & Machinefabriek thankfully ease back on the intensity a little while also creating an entirely alien, evocative clickscape with whirring propulsion and the leavening of lonely, dispossessed acoustic instruments.

Listen to the whole album:


Ambient Layers Visual Album:

Friday, 13 November 2020

Translations

Four extremely beautiful piano arrangements by Jeroen van Vliet (2020) led me to the idea of starting a small collection of different versions of some of my compositions, which became this compilation album 'Translations', also including 3 originals for reference. I am happy to know such great musicians and feel most grateful for all those amazing contributions over the years. (Michel Banabila, November 12, 2020)





Composed by Michel Banabila.

1, 2, 4, 5 recorded & arranged by Jeroen van Vliet.
3 recorded & arranged by Jasper Soffers & Michel Banabila.
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 recorded by Michel Banabila.
6 arranged by Maarten Vos & Michel Banabila.
7, 8, 9, 10 arranged by Michel Banabila.
6 & 7 mastered by Marlon Wolterink.
1, 2, 4, 5 produced by Jeroen van Vliet.
3, 6, 7,8, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 produced by Michel Banabila.

Cover photo by Gerco de Ruijter.
Typography by Rutger Zuydervelt.

A special thanks to Stephan Matthieu.

Cat. nr. P9112020TR.
2020 ℗ Tapu Records.
UPC 195497583812.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Zoosemiotics

After staying too much inside, my recording space shifted slightly to the park in front of my door

Released July 17, 2020
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled
This single is a download only.

Cat. nr. TR18072020.

UPC 195081714141.

2020 © Tapu Records.









music written & produced / artwork by: michel banabila

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Michel Banabila, Stijn Hüwels, Cok Van Vuuren: One Moment In Time

Apple Music playlist (April 2020) 'Pure Meditation'

Friday, 13 March 2020

Always There (single)

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Spherics III (EP)



Synthwave.

This EP collects the last part in this series.
Part one (2001): banabila.bandcamp.com/album/spherics
Part two (2003): banabila.bandcamp.com/album/spherics-ii


Cover art redesign by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.
Composed, performed & produced by Michel Banabila.



Notes:

Secunde (track 2) is a synth version of: banabila.bandcamp.com/album/secunde
There are no guitars on this album, everything has been done with keys. Instruments used: Logic EVP88 with distortion, Omnisphere, Novation V Station, EastWest SD2, Qu-Bit Nebulae.

This EP is a download only.

Cat. nr. TR2020D01.
UPC 195081074276.
2020 © + ℗ Tapu Records.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Movements (music for dance)



YIN YUE for PENNSYLVANIA BALLET:

A1 - DRAGONFLY II
Original soundtrack for the choreography 'A Trace of Inevitability'
by Yin Yue with Pennsylvania Ballet, in accordance with Yin Yue Dance Company & Pennsylvania Ballet.
This music was commissioned by Pennsylvania Ballet and premiered at 'World Premieres 2019' in the Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, USA, November 7th, 2019.

Musicians on Dragonfly II:
Peter Hollo: cello
Gareth Davis: bass clarinet
Oene van Geel: viola & stroh violin
Gulli Gudmundsson: el. bass, double bass & e-bow
Michel Banabila: midi instruments, sampling, electronics

PATRICK O’ BRIEN for CUNY DANCE INITIATIVE:

B1 - ILLICIT ACQUIREMENT
Composed for the choreography 'Enough' by Patrick O’Brien with Patrick O’Brien Dance Collective.
This music was commissioned by Patrick O’Brien with support from CUNY Dance Initiative and premiered in LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, New York, USA, November 14th, 2019.

CONNY JANSSEN for CONNY JANSSEN DANST:

C1 - CROWDS (Big Data Poetry Mix)

Was originally created for Big Data Poetry, an audio visual live performance by Geert Mul & Michel Banabila
 and was used in the choreography 'Home' by Conny Janssen for Conny Janssen Danst with Michel Banabila & Maarten Vos, and premiered in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, NL, January 20th, 2017.
C2 - I WON’T PLAY YOUR GAME
C3 - GUERRILLA TACTICS

C4 - NEW ENERGY FORMS
Were commissioned by Conny Janssen Danst for the choreography 'Zout' by Conny Janssen with Conny Janssen Danst & Anne Soldaat and premiered in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, NL, February 13th, 2011.

ANNABELLE LOPEZ OCHOA for SAN FRANCISCO BALLET and BJM DANSE MONTREAL

D1 - JUMP CUTS II
Was 
created for 'Guernica' in accordance with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Company & San Francisco Ballet and premiered in the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, USA, April 24th, 2018.

D2 - A STRONG SENSE OF URGENCY

Was used in the choreography 'Zip Zap Zoom' by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, in accordance with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Company & BJM Danse. Zip Zap Zoom premiered in San Diego CA, USA, October 18th, 2009.

NORMAN RECORDS:
These eight tracks represent a decade of Banabila’s career - ‘Dragonfly II’ and ‘Illicit Acquirement’ premiered barely a month before 'Movements (Music For Dance)' came out while closing number ‘A Strong Sense of Urgency’ dates from 2009. When heard in this light it becomes fascinating to chart the development of Banabila’s practice across these ten years. The earlier pieces are concerned more purely with rhythm, channelling a cinematic sense of foreboding through driving drumlines that verge on techno at times. Vatican Shadow is not a million miles away, though the dance context inevitably gives tracks like ‘Crowds (Big Data Poetry Mix)’ a bit more of a high-art feel.

While this sound remains in the recent work, Banabila’s touch has become more deft of hand. This is apparent from before you even put ‘Dragonfly II’ and ‘Illicit Acquirement’ on - both tracks are afforded a whole side of wax here, their length a testament to Banabila’s widened scope. While they do eventually blossom into driving groove-based music - ‘Illicit Acquirement’ has a cool Venetian Snares-type thing going on - their opening passages are characterised by a hitherto-unheard lack of drums. There’s both Penguin Cafe and Steve Reich to ‘Dragonfly II’s nimble-fingered string work, and ‘Illicit Acquirement’ begins with some of the most abstracted sounds on 'Movements (Music For Dance)'. Banabila executes both moves expertly, successfully broadening his sonic palette without sacrificing the emotion and muscularity of those earlier compositions. (Fred MG)









Released December 25, 2019

All tracks composed, performed & produced by Michel Banabila.

Design: Yasar Saka / YAY Music & Media.
Front cover photo: Deberían Permitir (Buenos Aires, 2012)
by Mista Stagga Lee under CC 2.0 license
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0
Back photo Yin Yue: Arian Molina Soca.

D2 (A Strong Sense Of Urgency) was licensed from Steamin'Soundworks with kind permission by Roel Kruize / published by Steamin’Songs. All rights reserved © + ℗ Steamin’Soundworks. More info: steamsounds.com

Joost Kroon: drums on Jump Cuts II.

Pressed at Deepgrooves, Leeuwarden.
Executive producer: Nico van Hemmen.
Mastering & remastering by Marlon Wolterink at White Noise Studio.

DISTRIBUTION:

NORMAN RECORDS (EU)
normanrecords.com/records/179690-michel-banabila-movements-music-for-dance

SQUIDCO (US)
www.squidco.com/r.cgi?p=28431

Cat. nr. NVH01TR.
2020 © + ℗ Tapu Records.

AMBIENTBLOG review

Monday, 9 December 2019

Winter Sketches



Recycled cassette tape material in preparation for live improvs at Perifeer, Deventer and Public Records, Brooklyn - November 2019.

Final recordings at home in Rotterdam, December 2019.
Modified tape player made by instagram.com/mypandashallfly

Video by Nan Wang - nanwang.org

Released December 10, 2019

Michel Banabila: tapes & granular sampler.
Mastering: Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.

2019 © Tapu Records
Cat.nr. 091219TR

Banabila live @ Perifest 2019 [excerpt] from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.



Thursday, 24 October 2019

Enough - Patrick O' Brien Collective (November 14th, 2019)

World premiere November 14th, 2019 - LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, New York, USA

Choreography by Patrick O'Brien

Featuring 'ILLICIT ACQUIREMENT' (a 20 minute new commissioned work) by Michel Banabila

A Trace of Inevitability - Yin Yue / Pa Ballet World Premieres (November 7th, 2019)



DRAGONFLY II (a 23 minute extended version)

Choreography by Yin Yue
Music by Michel Banabila

Peter Hollo: cello
Gareth Davis: bass clarinet
Oene van Geel viola & stroh violin
Gulli Gudmundsson: el.bass, double bass
Michel Banabila: midi instruments, sampling, electronics

Premiere November 7th, 2019, Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, USA

http://paballet.org/world-premieres-choreographers-composers-designers



trailer

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Woods

This is a new collaboration: coming soon online to all portals, 'The Woods' (Sonicontinuum / 2019).
An 11 minute single by Alex Haas & Michel Banabila, featuring the amazing Bill Laswell.


The Woods is a single from the upcoming album Ruins by Alex Haas. Alex Haas (born 1963, NYC, USA,) label owner of Sonicontinuum, has been working with many renowned artists including U2, Brian Eno, Eric Clapton, Kronos Quartet, Pat Metheny and Bill Laswell. His first collaboration with Dutch composer Michel Banabila started in April on Collector, a track from Banabila's album Uprooted (Tapu Records / 2019). They then decided to renew their collaboration on The Woods, and Alex invited his long time collaborator, Bill Laswell to join this recording. The Woods became an atmospheric organic blend of experimental ambient, 4th world exotica and lush electronics. Synths and treated guitars by Alex Haas are mixed with Banabila's electronically processed voices, keys and field recordings, together with deep bass sounds by Laswell. Mixed and produced by Alex Haas. mastered by Marlon Wolterink. The Orchard release date: November 22, 2019.



alexhaas.com
sonicontinuum.com
banabila.com
billlaswell.net



Alex Haas: synths & treated guitars.
Michel Banabila: voices, keys & field recording.
Bill Laswell: bass and pedals.

Photo and design: Alex Haas.
Mixed and produced by Alex Haas.
Composed by Alex Haas & Michel Banabila.
Mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.

Catalog nr. AHS30917.
2019 © Sonicontinuum.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Mix for Dublab.de

In Laura Not's series "Sounds Unsaid"



tracklist

1. Amazonas - Naná Vasconcelos
2. Roulette - Lolina
3. /End - Terrapin
4. Armenian Song - Gurdjieff
5. From Here - Molly Berg & Stephen Vitiello
6. Got Away - Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz
7. Yalli Hawak - Asmahan
8. Anthem Of The Trinity - Terry Riley
9. Song Of The Highwire Shrimper - Tim Hecker
10. Urub - Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek
11. Chapter M (Karenina) - Thomas Fehlmann
12. So Ney - Cluster
13. Swisid Mekanize Reijman - HHY & The Macumbas

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Mix for RedLight Radio

SET LIST 04-18-2019 RedLight Radio

1. Field Rec intro
2. Feldman & Brown - Durations IV.1
3. Jan Jelinek - What You Should Know About Me
4. Oren Ambarchi and Martin Ng - Surfacing Edit
5. New Composers from St. Petersburg - Astra
6. New Composers from St. Petersburg - Something Is Happening With Me
7. Erik Honoré - Procession
8. Central African Pygmies - Bow-Harp & Vocal
9. Michel Banabila - Melodica & Bells (Red Light Radio Remix)
10. Michel Banabila - The Lost Drone Tape 3
11. Fennesz & Sparklehorse - Music Box Of Snakes
12. Alva Noto - Xerox Spiegel
13. Thurayya Qaddura - Fatakatu Lahziki (Time Wept) - mixed -
14. Jon Hassell - Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street




Visit The Something Something

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Uprooted



UPROOTED

Peter Hollo: cello (1,2,3,4,5)
Alex Haas: synths & electronics (3)
Gareth Davis: bass clarinet (1,2,3,4,5)
Stijn Hüwels: guitar & electronics (3,4,5)
Oene van Geel: viola and stroh violin (1,3,5)
Gulli Gudmundsson: el. bass, double bass and ebow (1,2,3,5)
Michel Banabila: soft. instruments, sampler, electronics (1,2,3,4,5)

DRAGONFLY
SOLAR WAVES
COLLECTOR
BREAKING POINT
BREATHE



The Uprooted Orchestra.

“Orchestral.” The word’s an adjective, certainly, an unambiguous one. It depicts amassed instruments working in synchrony according to a fixed document prepared in advance. But what if “orchestral” were uprooted? What if “orchestral” referred to what we heard, not how it was recorded? What if “orchestral” welcomed electronic instruments not just into the pit, but into the compositional process?

For that is the sound of Michel Banabila’s Uprooted, this album of beautiful, striated, patient music — patient on the surface, deep with turmoil underfoot. When bass clarinet and harmonium rise above a misty string section halfway through “Breathe,” that’s orchestral. When woodwinds trill and pulse against piano on “Dragonfly,” that’s orchestral.

Over the years, Banabila has made his share of experimental ambient, wherein future roots cultures are foreseen through a low-tech looking glass. On Uprooted, the tech is transparent. The album has touches of Fourth World, most notably on “Collector” and "Breathe," but Uprooted is orchestral, full stop.

It’s also an album entirely forged of material sampled by Banabila from improvisations by invited musicians. Those samples were then constructed into a whole by Banabila, layered sinuously rather than triggered on a rhythmic grid. The fixed orchestral document here is the recording, and it marks the close of the composer’s efforts, not the start of the performers’.

Marc Weidenbaum.
San Francisco, March 2019.

Cat. nr. 026TR
Limited edition / 150
Design by Yasar Saka
Artwork by Gerco de Ruijter
Alex Haas courtesy of Sonicontinuum
Mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio
All tracks composed & produced by Michel Banabila

2019 © + ℗ Tapu Records / banabila.bandcamp.com



Downloads: 4-9-2019. Limited edition CD: 4-16-2019.

HEADPHONE COMMUTE
A CLOSER LISTEN
AMBIENTBLOG

Saturday, 23 February 2019

'And We Fall And We Murmur And We Sing'

Now on bandcamp: And We Fall And We Murmur And We Sing. (March 14th, 2019)
I collaborated on a second project with Martin Hoogeboom.
With Ulrich Langenbach, Aoki Satoru and Wodwo.



Previous collaboration with Martin Hoogeboom (January 14, 2016):

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Nan Wang - Pareidolia (IFFR 2019)

An extended noisy remix from Danube (Imprints 2018) for the new film by Nan Wang: 'Pareidolia', on IFFR 2019 (Bright Future selection)



In Pareidolia, analog abstract patterns made on 16mm film are used as source material for finding similar figurative images, interpreted by an online search engine. Hundreds of these matching images were edited into abstract film clips, resulting in an exciting visual and psychological cinematic experience.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Michel Banabila & Willem Cramer: Texture Syndicate EP

Texture Syndicate from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.

Michel Banabila & Willem Cramer first worked together in Chi (1984-1986), (banabila.blogspot.com/2016/08/chi-original-recordings_6.html) and later in East Meets West (1990-1991), (banabila.blogspot.com/2016/08/east-meets-west-hoy-babo-hoy.html). In 1996 they collaborated with Chris Grem making a score and performing live in a dance production by Lieber Gorilla. (banabila.blogspot.com/2016/08/lieber-gorilla-visioenen.html) This 2018 EP is their first new collaboration in 22 years. Viola sounds were contributed by Oene van Geel and violin sounds were contributed by Salar Asid. Willem Cramer is a composer & multi instrumentalist, living and working (like Banabila) in Rotterdam. www.willemcramer.com/audio



Willem Cramer: ebow guitar, bass, synthesizer & programming.
Michel Banabila: sampler, turntable & synthesizer.
Oene van Geel: viola (1 & 2).
Salar Asid: violin (2).

Composed, recorded, & produced by Michel Banabila & Willem Cramer. Artwork by Michel Banabila.
A special thanks to Marc Weidenbaum for suggesting the album title.

Mix & mastering by Willem Cramer.
This release is a download only.
2018 © Tapu Records.
Cat. Nr. 025TR.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Imprints



Cok van Vuuren: electric guitar (5, 6).
Oene van Geel: viola (1, 2, 3), stroh violin (5).
Michel Banabila: turntable & sampler (1 - 7), synth (2 - 6), voice (5).

Artwork / design by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Mastering by Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio.
'A Sense Of Place' video by Nan Wang / NanWang Org.
Imprints promo video by Dejan Radovanovic / Ummagumma.
Recorded, composed, mixed & produced by Michel Banabila.
except track #3 composed by Michel Banabila & Oene van Geel.

Catalog nr. 024TR.
UPC 193483228464.
2018 © Tapu Records.
This album is a download only.

Nan Wang & Michel Banabila: A Sense Of Place from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.



Michel Banabila - Imprints from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.


trailer by Dejan Radovanovic.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Now at bandcamp: Everywhere Else Is Just Right Here





Discogs

Friday, 31 August 2018

VoizNoiz part 1 reissued on 2LP vinyl by Steamin' Soundworks

First album from the VoizNoiz series (CD / 2000 - Pork Recordings , Tone Casualties) reissued by Steamin' Soundworks on a 2LP vinyl album (ltd 234), including a 16 minute remix by Michel Banabila & Oene van Geel. Expected in October 2018, available via Norman Records. Fully remastered by Marlon Wolterink. 175G vinyl in hardback gatefold sleeve. Photography Jacky van Dijk / design Rutger Zuydervelt. More info at Steamin' Soundworks Bandcamp & Steamsounds.com



Remix (Side D) by Michel Banabila & Oene van Geel:



VoizNoiz on vinyl from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.





Sunday, 29 July 2018

Cassette Gods: MICHEL BANABILA “Sound Years” (Tapu Records)

Cassette Gods: MICHEL BANABILA “Sound Years” (Tapu Records): I feel a bit late to the game with Michel Banabila and his (minimum) 35 years of audio output. Were any of his years not sound years? I’m di...

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Guernica (SF Ballet trailer)

New San Francisco Ballet video trailer online for Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's upcoming choreography 'Guernica', featuring my track 'Jump Cuts'

Just Above The Surface

Listing boats, field recordings, loops, polyrhythms and sonic incantations: Just Above The Surface - Michel Banabila (new album) .


Artwork Gerco de Ruijter.

A CLOSER LISTEN: The title is an inversion of expectations; we’re used to reading the words, “just below the surface.” Sound artist Michel Banabila has been defying classifications for years, and here he does so once again. The irony is that while the attention is drawn to the sounds that lie just above the surface ~ tape noise, viola, bass clarinet ~ there’s still a lot going on just below. Take for example the dolphin noises in “The Ripple Effect” (which we believe to be Gareth Davis, sounding like a dolphin), providing imagery to accompany the track. Tumbling bass and boat samples reflect the ripples while the clarinet imitates the unpredictable nature of the sea. In the final minute, slow drum hits add drama while unexpected melodies emerge from the aether. Gerco D. Ruijter’s cover art is a perfect match for the music. Ruijter’s art finds abstraction in concrete images, typically snapped from above. In this image one might see the aforementioned ripples, but one might also see mountains or frosted plains. The same is true of Banabila’s music. “Snake Bite” features Oene van Geel and Salar Asid on viola and violin. For the first half, it sounds like an elegy until Banabila turns it into a dirge, exposing the dual nature of death and remembrance. The title “Out of Sync” highlights the friction, as loops circle at different speeds, the howls of dogs set against the cries of gulls. Again a breakthrough arrives in the final minute, a sudden synching akin to the saying that even a broken clock is correct twice a day. If we had a year-end list featuring track titles, we’d certainly include “Cassettes and Polaroids in the 21st Century.” Just as a great cover can draw attention to great music, a great title can prompt one to take a spin, especially when the track is instrumental. (In contrast, consider the title “Dreams” – not a Banabila track! – and ask yourself, “Am I curious about that song?”) Before we put the digital needle down, we’re already thinking about lost formats, engaging in pleasant nostalgia while wondering what the piece will sound like. Thanks to Marcin Barski’s contributions, it implies the abraded memories of bygone days. Once again, Banabila revisits the ripple effect, as if the entire project had been recorded on a quiet boat. The waves have died down. Just above the surface, all is calm. (Richard Allen)




Michel Banabila at OCCI, Amsterdam, 2017.

AMBIENTBLOG:
Just Above The Service, his latest release, is released almost casually, unannounced. It is a digital only release, which is an understandable choice at this time – but I feel a bit sorry for those that treasure all things physical… this music deserves to be available on a less ethereal level. Because of the music, but also because of the stunning cover artwork by Gerco de Ruijter. There are six long tracks (most around 9 minutes) and a (shorter) closing track which is taken from a Disquiet community release dedicated to Bassel Khartabil (coder and open-source advocate from Syria, imprisoned and executed). With the exception of the last track, the material for this album was created with parts and fragments made for a live performance. Banabila’s flawless wide-screen production is created with the help of some friends he worked with before (Oene van Geel, viola, Salar Asid, violin). As far as I know it is the first time that Gareth Davis adds his bass clarinet sound to Banabila’s music: on the shuddering opener The Ripple Effect. Martin Barski adds tape sound on Tapes and Polaroids in the 21st Century (great title!) It is fascinating how easily Banabila navigates between different kinds of styles and moods, even within the span of one single track. From emotional, melancholic to abstract experimental, from subdued calm to a threatening tribal rhythm that makes your palms sweat. And the transitions never sound forced. (Peter van Cooten)


Gareth Davis

IRREGULAR CRATES:
Why isn’t Michel Banabila more famous? This is music which deserves large cinema screens and at least as much press as Nils Frahm and his Erased Tapes cronies! I’ve a few of Banabila’s releases – I came across them through my buddy Rutger Zuyderveldt aka Machinefabriek – very attentive Netherlands sound designer folks the pair of them – and their four albums together. Banabila is more overtly ‘musical’ than Rutger, and these tracks present a nice worldview and warm electronics which you could imagine being on reel to reel tapes. And one thing I like about Michel’s work is that it’s not afraid to be emotional at times… very warm. There’s impressive instrumentation and very good mixing. Listing boats, field recordings, loops, polyrhythms and sonic incantations. I wrote that without even reading the title ‘Just Above The Surface’ and it does what it says. I feel I am following a day, perhaps a few, from boats on surfaces of different depths. It’s as if we start on marsh land with all the rich birdlife and move through passages where we witness – from a distance – activity far out at sea. Can’t always make out the horizons as the album but I’m happy at this surprise release and the journey I’ve been on. Ferry to Holland please (Dr. Chris Dooks)

WSZYSTKIE STANY SKUPIENIA:
Ziennik pokładowy = doprawdy straciłem rachubę ile już czasu płyniemy po tych nieznanych człowiekowi wodach. mapy pokładowe od wielu mil zdają się zgodnie rozrysowywać nasze wielkie zagubienie. jaskółczy niepokój koją skutecznie ataki lekkiej agarofobii i przyjemnej maligny słonecznej - błogosławiony udar wielkiego dnia. kapitan nasz, Michel Banabila, wydaje się mieć w tym wszystkim plan specjalny. od początku wędrówki zapętlał wrażenia z prawdziwie marynarskim sznytem, roztaczał wokół chmury dźwiękowych wrażeń, mieszał syntetyczne z prawdziwie organicznym. a wszystko to miksturą doświadczenia, co każe się sobie poddać. i niby leżę w miejscu, lecz kołyszę się coraz śmielej. dryfuję, niemącony życiem, prosto w egzotykę kolejnego Wdechu.


Released January 10, 2018.

All tracks composed & performed by Michel Banabila.

Gareth Davis: bass clarinet on The Ripple Effect.
Additional sampled parts contributed with kind permission by:
Oene van Geel (viola) and Salar Asid (violin) on Snake Bite.
Marcin Barski (tapes) on Cassettes and Polaroids in the 21st Century.

Title of track 4 borrowed with kind permission by Bence Meijer.
Some of the material in this album was originally made for an ableton live performance at the Haperende Mens Festival, Amsterdam, December 2017. haperendemens.nl

Track 6 added with kind permission of Rupert Lally & Marc Weidenbaum. Source: afutureincommons.bandcamp.com/album/a-future-in-commons-a-tribute-to-bassel-khartabil



1-5 recorded in December 2017, Rotterdam.
6 recorded in August 2017, Rotterdam.
Mastering: Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio
whitenoisestudio.com

This album is a download only.

2018 © Tapu Records / 021TR

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Trespassing

Trespassing is out now. A Séance Centre release. Available at Rush Hour

2LP vinyl record in a gatefold sleeve, featuring with archival pics, essay and artwork by Alan Briand.





#TTLexpansions: Collection of genre bending material from long-serving Dutch experimentalist Michel Banabila. The release compiles examples of Banabilla's "excursions into otherworldly and imagined realms," and the results will take you there along with him. "Trespassing" includes tracks recorded between 1987 and 2017, which move between humid, percussion-led workouts, exotic ambience, dark and creepy soundscapes and sticky electro-acoustic fusion. The second record, "Marilli," was originally released in 1983 and appears as an LSD inspired DIY tribute to David Byrne and Brian Eno's "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts." The highly sought-after album is presented here in its entirety for the first time since its original release. If you've been feeling the releases on Music From Memory or any of the recent spate of Japanese reissues we recommend you check this one out. Twenty tracks in all. Released by Seance Centre on double vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve.⠀ ╲➸link in bio╲⠀@michel_banabila @seance_centre

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