Michel Banabila & Oene van Geel – Music for Viola and Electronics

After they met when working together on Cloud Ensemble, Michel Banabila and Oene van Geel extended their collaboration which resulted in 2014’s “Music for Viola and Electronics”.

Both were so very enthusiastic about the new musical world that they had opened up, that they kept working on “Music for Viola and Electronics II”, which is released this month.

Judging by the (strikingly beautiful!) aerial landscape photography by Gerco de Ruijer on the cover, their collaboration will probably not end here: the crop of the (geometric) landscape on the Volume I cover photo is only partially harvested – by hand, line by line… a difficult, strenuous, but most rewarding work.

TAPU 25 Anniversary Mix

This mix is especially created to celebrate the 25th release on Michel Banabila’s Tapu Records (which will be released later this year).

In this mix (in fact a follow up of Streets, Dreams and Memories), all tracks & samples are chosen from the Tapu Records catalogue and so it displays the versatility of Banabila’s work – as solo artist as well as in collaboration with others.

A limited edition (100) physical Audio CD with this mix will be included with every physical release order from Banabila’s Bandcamp

Also, a VIDEO version (presenting the covers in sync with the mix, as well as including the impressive Geert Mulvideo for Crowds‘), can be downloaded for free (link below).

Michel Banabila – Float

Beginning his career in the early 80’s, Michel Banabila‘s albums covered many different styles.
So many, in fact, that his place in music was a bit difficult to pinpoint which sometimes seemed to confuse critics as well as potential audiences.

His albums presented world music, jazz, theatre play soundtracks as well as electronic music of the abstract or ambient kind – all kinds of genres which Banabila seems to be able to cross over with ease.

Banabila & Machinefabriek – Travelog


Travelog

It took some time before Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek, both living in Rotterdam, finally met and started working together. But after the release of their first album, they soon decided there would be more like that.
Not just because their first CD was very well received critically, but also (probably even more) because their collaboration was so fruitful that the new ideas started to roll in soon, and simply begged to be continued.

So now, some 9 months after its predecessor, Travelog is presented.

Michel Banabila – 47 Voice Loops + Gardening (Extended)

Two surprising new albums by Michel Banabila, both based on some of his earlier work yet remarkably different from most albums in his extensive catalogue.

47 VOICE LOOPS

The original basic track for 47 Voice Loops can be found on the free (!) download album In Other Words (track called “MltVz8”.)
In reaction to some listeners comments, Banabila decided to create longer versions of this track. The result is now available as a separate album which clearly demonstrates these listeners were right!

Banabila, Manuel Chantre, Beautiful Schizophonic, Linear Bells, Sequence 5

In the Shortlist sections, I will mention some of the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I think they deserve your attention: use the links to find more info and hear previews.

SumDark

Michel Banabila – Sum Dark 12
Available as a digital download for some time, but now also as a strictly limited CDr edition. Contains four tracks that were the basis for Banabila‘s impressive (at times even terrifying) set performed at the Summer Darkness festival in Utrecht, 2012, as well as a 22 minute live recording from that performance.
Definitely showcasing the darkest of the many sides of Michel Banabila!

SixMilAntenas

Manuel Chantre – Six Mil Antenas
Soundtrack for the first 360 degree ‘Satosphere’ (Société des Arts Technologiques, Montreal) film, a “Journey in a futurist, psychedelic and non-linear universe”, inspired by movies like Enter the Void, Alphaville, The Holy Mountain and then some. This visual experience must be quite overwhelming in itself, but without the images this soundtrack is also very much worth listening.
Fun detail: this album is also offered as a concrete block with USB-port. I did not dare to ask for the international shipment cost of this particular one…

Manuel Chantre also offers another compilation of soundtracks for audiovisual installation on Memorsion and other Works, which features somewhat more ambient-oriented soundscapes.

Banabila & Machinefabriek


banabila+machinefabriek

First: check my last.fm profile so you know that I’m not entirely ‘unbiased’ when reviewing this release. 

Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek are firmly at the top of my all-time favourite artists chart (well, to be exact: counting of ‘all-time’ started at 2005 when I “went digital” in listening music). 

Both have been extensively featured on this weblog (just do a search on their names to dig deeper) – even if that covers only a small part of their output.
Considering their complete discography, it seems their output is quite different in style – yet their work also has some overlapping areas, especially when it comes to “gritty” electronics. 

Knowing they both live in Rotterdam, it was clear that they should meet sometimes. I’ve been waiting for that to happen, but I had no idea if their collaboration would work and what the result might sound like. 

So imagine my surprise when, without any introduction or announcement, their collaborative album Banabila & Machinefabriek”  was announced recently.

Michel Banabila – The Latest Research…


Research - Cover

For those familiar with the work of Michel Banabila  (and if not: you may check this mix presenting a broad range of his work), his new album The Latest Research from the Department of Electrical Engineeringmay come as a noisy surprise.

Created entirely from electrical sound sources that are fiercely mixed and meant to play LOUD, this has nothing much to do with his gentle ‘world-ambient’ output. In his catalogue it is loosely connected to the two “Spherics” released, that also contained strictly electronic music. But it’s different in sound and in using thumping industrial beats.

"Friederich Remixed" by Banabila


radiolines

In december 2008, dutch musicians Frans Friederich and Michel Banabila met each other performing on the ‘RadioLines’ performance, organised by the (now almost deceased) radio programs Folio and Supplement.

Three musicians performing simultaneously, while live-mixed by one of the radio-makers. The musicians had no influence on the resulting mix in any way (there even was a possibility they were playing their parts without it being heard at all).
(The musicians brave enough to take this risk were Michel Banabila, Frans Friederich and Floris van Bergeijk – the resulting music can be found and downloaded [here].)

For edition “P” of Frans Friederich‘s Recyclopedia, a series of 26 multi-styled CD’s (one for every single letter of the alphabet), Michel Banabila created a beautiful remix, inviting dutch trumpet player Eric Vloeimans to play the additional trumpet part.
This track is unclassifiable: it’s jazz, pop, electronic, fourth world and maybe even more.
It is also a perfect example of what can happen when open-minded musicians work together for the sake of music, not caring about whatever expectations there may be!

Banabila – Precious Images

precious images 

The music of Michel Banabila has been on the top of my personal playlist favourites for years (check my last.fm account if you want the details).
Considering the strength of his versatile output, it really is a shame he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves (in terms of sales, that is).
In the past few years, his music has found its way into theatre productions (by well-known Dutch company Orkater, for example) and television documentaries. Some of this work has been compiled earlier on the self-released double-CD ‘Hilarious Expedition‘ and on ‘Traces‘.

Dutch record label Steamin’ Soundworks released a new compilation, fully titled “Precious Images – Datafiles 1999 – 2008“. The two CD’s are hand-picked and remastered by Michel Banabila himself and show an interesting duality in his work.

Banabila + Asid: Oh No Uaredero

Banabila + Asid

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: Michel Banabila’s music (a well-balanced fusion of electronic, ambient, jazz and ethnic music) deserves much more attention, and not only in Europe! 
To get a good impression of his versatility, you can check the myspace accounts listed below. Or read the ‘Hilarious Expedition’ weblog entry earlier. Or just click the icon below to listen to ‘Oh No Uaredeo’ with Salar Asid on violin).