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Singles (2020 - 2022)

by Michel Banabila

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ambient / electronic / minimal / atmospheres

The last few years I did a lot of single tracks, often in collaborations, not related to any albums, and I thought it would be nice to collect some of them for a CD release.

Featuring collaborations with:

Alex Haas
Bill Laswell
Cengiz Arslanpay
Jeff Greinke
Salar Asid
Robert jarvis
Maarten Vos
Gareth Davis

Reviews / quotes:

Michel Banabila has been releasing music relentlessly over the past several years. Along with numerous EP and full albums, he has also put out a series of single, download-only tracks, eleven of which are collected on Singles (2020-2022). Together, the pieces showcase the wide stylistic modes and the various configurations — solos, duos, and trios — in which Banabila operates. The collection nevertheless holds together in its underlying adherence to Banabila's finely honed balance of richly produced ambient sounds, finely wrought layers and disjointed structures.

For the latter, take rhythm. Rhythm seems to be a uniting theme, though it only rarely features as the obvious, repetitive, head-bobbing backbone to the music. Rather, it is feigned, broken, oblique, hidden and hinted. Still, whether in implied or fragmented presence, it is there. So, too, are the textured sound environments that Banabila is known for, as in the alternately gooey and crackled "States of Consciouness", a duo with Gareth Davis, which elides from fine crumbles to hollow field recordings and a scraping blur. Or, listen to the rain-crinkled and cavernous "The Woods", which features Alex Haas and Bill Laswell. This one unwraps slowly and meticulously and runs deep. In its natural evocations, it complements other the tracks that combine that woody mysticism with polyrhythms ("Yek Nefes") or soft glistens and whispers of augmented Arabic scales ("Burgeon A" and "Burgeon B") .

Two later pieces with Robert Jarvis also stand out. On the first, "An Agreement of Sorts", Jarvis' trombone punches out of Banabila's environments with the mystically comfort but loneliness of a fog-horn cutting through sheets of rain. The second showcases the trombone — pure, looped, doubled and fragmented — against the backdrop of some perplexing processing by Banabila. This is one of the more jagged pieces on this album.

For those drawn to pure Banabila compositions, the album is bookended by solo tracks, "Orbital Resonance" and "Oblong Hobnob", each of which slowly develops out of a hazy suspension into a soft, mournful realization. The first involves a haunting, brittle piano and various other elements that entangle and unfold. The second focuses more on electrically derived tones that recognizable (possibly mimicked) instruments, and for that sounds more satisfyingly liquid.

All in all, Singles is a compilation primarily of discretely conceived and recorded tracks, but it is much more coherent and engaging than that fact suggests. This not just a fine collection, but a fine, and revealing, album. (Nick Ostrum)

A stunning display of Banabila’s versatility, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with others. Apart from the opening and closing tracks, the other nine tracks are collaborations with a variety of artists: Alex Haas & Bill Laswell, Cengiz Arslanpay, Jeff Greinke, Ümlaut (Jeff Dungfelder), Robert Jarvis, Maarten Vos and Gareth Davis.

This list of artists itself guarantees a diverse musical offer. Singles (2020-2022) presents a versatility of styles, yet it is a coherent collection because of Banabila’s skillful direction. Whatever direction the music takes, listeners that are familiar with his work will immediately recognize it as ‘Banabila’. It’s not easy to describe what this exactly is – I guess that’s what we can call the hand of the master.

I guess it’s safe to say that Singles (2020-2022) is a mandatory addition for everyone interested in Banabila’s music. And it’s also a great introduction to his music for those that are not yet familiar with his work. But be warned: once opened up, there’s a giant collection of earlier work waiting to be explored! (Peter van Cooten)

Niet alleen werkt hij op deze CD samen met een waslijst aan topartiesten, ook toont hij aan heer en meester te zijn in het bouwen van bruggen tussen genres om onnavolgbare muziek neer te zetten. Het zijn de singles die hij de afgelopen twee jaar digitaal los van zijn reguliere albums heeft uitgebracht, wellicht mede door de pandemie. Hij heeft samengewerkt met Alex Haas, Bill Laswell, Cengiz Arslanpay, Jeff Greinke, Ümlaut, Salar Asid, Robert Jarvis, Maarten Vos en Gareth Davis. Dat is wat je met recht een werelds sterrenteam mag noemen. Geheel, zoals altijd eigenlijk, gaat de muziek op onvoorspelbare wijze alle kanten op, waarbij die kenmerkende Banabila-stempel overal aanwezig is. Ik kan daar nooit helemaal de vinger op leggen, maar het is die mix van wereldse elementen met jazz en avant-garde plus een zekere melancholie, die een bepaalde herkenbare sound weet te genereren. Hij weet je op prettige wijze een goede 72 minuten met 11 tracks even helemaal uit de werkelijkheid te nemen. Banabila vond het wel een goed idee al deze tracks eens te bundelen en uit te brengen als een volwaardig album. Daar kan ik hem alleen maar gelijk in geven, want dit is echt een sublieme mix van zijn kunnen geworden. Daarbij gaat het van echt ongelooflijk mooie muziek naar de meer avontuurlijke klanken. Banabila is en blijft een volslagen unicum! (JanWIllem Broek)

Michel Banabilaの、主にデジタル・シングルでリリースされていた近年のコラボレーション音源をまとめた編集盤CDアルバム。

Michel Banabila has been releasing various forms of experimental music for 40 years; his discography is vast and difficult to categorize. This album consists of various digital singles he’s released so far this decade, almost all of which are collaborations. Solo track “Orbital Resonance” opens the set and couldn’t be more accurately titled, from its flickering, spaced-out intro to its subtly hypnotic loops. Bill Laswell guests on “The Woods”, with Alex Haas, a lengthy soundscape which seems to approximate both whale calls and life in the wilderness. The more percussive “Yek Nefes” features Cengiz Arslanpay’s ney flute playing along with a gentle rainfall of drums. Jeff Greinke appears on “Lattitude and Longitude”, which has stunning sound design and some of the stranger sounds on this CD. Two tracks with Ümlaut and Salar Asid feature eerie-sounding Kurdish violin; the first has sparse percussion and enchanting bass grooves, while the second is much heavier on splashing, waving percussion. Robert Jarvis’ trombone playing on the next two tracks imitate the pitches of speaking voices, resulting in some wild cadences. “An Agreement of Sorts” sounds more chatty and conversational while “A Disagreement of Sorts” is more drawn out at first but eventually becomes a bewildering collage of crossed wires and multiplied sounds. “States of Consciousness” with Gareth Davis is one of the more deliberately confusing tracks here, a musique concrete-style composition with numerous sound fragments clashing together, as well as mutated bass clarinet, animal sounds (I think?), and car alarms. Finally, the nearly 10-minute “Oblong Hobnob” has playful turntable interruptions and whistles, as well as rich harmonium drones. It would be a soothing ambient piece if it wasn’t for all the strange and wonderful sounds fluttering around, transforming into something else. (Paul SImpson)


released August 5, 2022

Mastering Zino Mikorey, Berlin (1)
Mastering Marlon Wolterink, Winterswijk (2)
Mastering Michel Banabila, Rotterdam (3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Mastering Stephan Mathieu, Bonn (4)

'The Woods' is taken from the album Lithium - by Alex Haas (Sonicontinuum / 2020)

01. Composed by Michel Banabila
02. Composed by Alex Haas & Michel Banabila
03. Composed by Cengiz Arslanpay & Michel Banabila
04. Composed by Michel Banabila & Jeff Greinke
05. Composed by Michel Banabila & Jeff Düngfelder
06. Composed by Michel Banabila & Jeff Düngfelder
07. Composed by Michel Banabila & Robert Jarvis
08. Composed by Michel Banabila & Robert Jarvis
09. Composed by Maarten Vos & Michel Banabila
10. Composed by Gareth Davis & Michel Banabila
11. Composed by Michel Banabila

2022 ℗ Tapu Records
Design: Michel Banabila
Cat. nr. TapuRec 062022
Pressed at Deepgrooves.eu
Manufactured in The Netherlands


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Michel Banabila Rotterdam, Netherlands

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