We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Precious Images

by Michel Banabila

supported by
Philip Graham
Philip Graham thumbnail
Philip Graham Another magnificent Banabila compilation. 32 tracks, over two and a half hours of music!
The music is so varied, beautiful, unusual and sometimes challenging, with strains of world, electronic, folk and experimental. Yet it all holds together.
I picked "The Holy Mountain" as a favorite track, but many others, so different in tone and approach, are tied for first. Try "Migrations," "Voiz Recycled," "A Strong Sense of Urgency," "Wasp," "The Flow," "Night," or . . .
So much to explore here. Favorite track: The Holy Mountain.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €9 EUR  or more


  • Steamin' Soundworks double CD
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    By the original 2CD in 6 panel digifile on Discogs: www.discogs.com/sell/release/1445209

    Includes unlimited streaming of Precious Images via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

Migrations 03:53
Wasp 04:08
Y14 03:54
Night 05:08
Crime Scene 09:31


Melodic / instrumental / music for film, theatre & dance

SONOMU.NET : Precious Images.

Unfolding Michel Banabila´s Precious Memories is like opening up an old chest filled with old wind-up toys and brightly-wrapped candies. You want to bury both arms up to the elbow, pulling out one trinket after the other to play with, admire, or slowly savour before moving on to the next. Subtitled ”Datafiles 1999-2008”, this double omnibus includes tracks selected from all his releases on Dutch label Steamin´ Soundworks beginning in 1999. He is a man of many genres, or perhaps more correctly, he is trans-genre, for there seems to be no particular base from which he prefers to work. He just composes. And collaborates eagerly, to the listener´s delight. The first disc displays a range that is giddily eclectic and includes a few clunky little pieces that could have served as interludes on a latter-day Tom Waits record (”Wonderful Mistakes”, ”Sorokin Blues”, ”One for the Road”), a song in collaboration with Moroccoan Sufi singer Bahia El Idrissi, a hyperreal tribal dance ("Do Something About It!"), edgy electro-funk (”Heavy Gravity”) and a groovy bit of space age bachelor pad jazz showcasing Eric Vloeimans´ trumpet (”Damned”). Some of the programmed rhythms will remind you of Brian Eno´s ”Another Green World ” or ”Nerve Net”, like ”A Strong Sense of Urgency”. Central to most of the pieces is the human voice, often dozens of them threaded together to create a kind of dada poetry. What unites them all is the way Banabila tweaks and crafts them just enough to defy expectations. Take for example the slow and laidback late night jazz session ”A Virtual Meeting”, with muted trumpet, bass clarinet and fleet-fingered piano cruising prettily above quiet squonks and squeeks. A perfectly executed hybrid. Although Banabila appears to relish combining the digital with the acoustic, there are some nice, purely electronic pieces featured as well, like ”Low Pulse + High Noiz”. There is little on the first disc you could call "ambient", except perhaps the two pieces which conclude it, in particlar the beautiful ”Voiz Recycled”, with its smattering of Jon Hassell-like horn, that I would happily hear extended far beyond its eight-and-a-half minutes. Disc two contains music made for television and theatre in 2008. Banabila claims not only to be inspired by photography, video, film and theatre, but also to ”think” in terms of transforming visual impression into sound. Perhaps necessarily, most of the pieces featured here do not have the strong personalities of many of the tracks on its sister disc, since they were intended to complement a foreground. But there are moments when the music is too engrossing to merely take in passively. The sweet meanderings of ”Migrations” is an exciting musical journey that could very well represent a trip around the globe or at least reflect how the globe is setting up shop in and influencing Europe. It´s a true mongrel and all the more loveable for it. Another attention-grabber, "Ears Tell Us Where We Are in Space", showcases Dutch guitarist Anton Goudsmit and is hauntingly introspective, with a slight Jaco Pastorius patina. The album ends with a slow ambient descent beginning with ”Night”, continuing with ”Crime Scene” – hardboiled noir again featuring the sensitive, muted monochromes of Vloeimans - and the dark ”A Moody Guy´s Audible Dream” with Polish electronics wiz Zenial. As an introduction to the work of Michel Banabila it is laudable. As a retrospective over his recent career, it is something for him to be very proud of.

Stephen Fruitman.


released October 13, 2008

Originally published by Steamin' Songs, Amsterdam.
Artwork by Michel Banabila.
Design by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Produced by Michel Banabila.

Cat. nr. TR2020-5.
UPC = 194491918804.
2020 ℗ Tapu Records.


all rights reserved



Michel Banabila Rotterdam, Netherlands

contact / help

Contact Michel Banabila

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Michel Banabila recommends:

If you like Michel Banabila, you may also like: