VITAL WEEKLY 921: More Research From The Same Dept.

Although active for maybe thirty years now, it seems that Michel Banabila is working his ass off in the last couple of years, having lots of new releases all the time, and playing around with his mates from Rotterdam, such as Radboud Mens, Rutger Zuydervelt and Roel Meelkop. Here's his latest album, which we, perhaps, should see as the follow-up to 'The Latest Research From The Department Of Electrical Engineering' (Vital Weekly 837), which I may regard with some hindsight as the album which turned me back to Banabila's music. Before that I assumed that his music was more or less third world music, ethnic perhaps yet electronic. That album proofed me wrong and since then I have a keen ear for his music. Banabila uses a variety of instruments from electric sources, such as Korg monotribe and monotron and EX24 sampler, but also soft synths, found objects, fluorescent tube sounds, refrigerator sounds and plug sounds and creates some excellent electronic music with that. Nothing third world, nothing even remotely exotic, unless you think abandoned factories are exotic places; some of Banabila's music sound straight from such sites of industrial desolation. Some bits are still functioning but not all of it. Banabila's music is a construction of sounds, sometimes in the form of a collage and at other times in more straight forward moving lines, sustaining sounds. A work of electronic music indeed, and to some extends also from the world of musique concrete. However, none of these eight pieces last very long and Banabila doesn't apply very complex compositional techniques - maybe that's the only thing that has any relation to the world of 'pop' - whatever that means in this context. Electrical interference is sampled into a rhythm, phrases are repeated, and on top there is a whole extra layer of weirdness. Intelligent, experimental music. Not too difficult or alienating, but wonderfully accessible. Excellent release! (FdW)


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.