VITAL WEEKLY 898: Travelog

In Vital Weekly 860 I was very much impressed by the collaborative efforts of Michel Banabila and Rutger Zuydervelt, best known as Machinefabriek. Both from Rotterdam, and Banabila the older of the two, with a long career that took him to world music, experimental music, electronic and Machinefabriek the better known one, certainly internationally. An album of the drones of Machinefabriek and Banabila's more experimental electronics, digital noise vs silence. It's of course not really a surprise that I was looking forward to their second album, which has just arrived. Again we are in for a little surprise, I think. They seem to be moving away from the more abstract, sound collages towards more coherent… 'songs', is perhaps the word that covers this best. Especially in the first few pieces of this CD, there is a certain 'pop' like character to the pieces, a light weight character even, which sets for a sunny tone in these pieces. Also they are well rounded, with strong melodic touches. Something which we perhaps don't expect that easily from Zuydervelt, whose strong point of recognition is the more ambient, more subdued side of music. Maybe Banabila is the one whose trademark is at work here? I am just guessing of course, but this change of work is great, I think. Even when a piece like 'Debris' is more like what we found on their first collaborative CD, it doesn't become an odd ball in this forty minute collection. Gone are the shorter bits but the addition of rhythm machines here and there make all of this an excellent experimental, instrumental rock like album, at times. It's a bit of all: poppy songs, post rock, ambient and experiment. It's all part of this excellent album, which you could play over and over, and discover something new all the time.


Music composer & sound artist. Michel Banabila releases music since 1983 and has produced musical scores for numerous films, documentaries, video art, theatre plays & choreographies. His music varies from minimal loop-based electronica, 4th world and neoclassical pieces, to drones, experimental ambient, and punk-as-fuck tape music. In addition to acoustic instrumentation, Banabila uses electronics, field recordings, and snippets from radio, tv and internet.

Bureau B, Eilean Rec, Séance Centre, Pork Recordings, Tone Casualties, Challenge Records, Steamin' Soundworks, Knekelhuis, Tapu Records.