IRREGULAR CRATES: Just Above The Surface
Why isn’t Michel Banabila more famous? This is music which deserves large cinema screens and at least as much press as Nils Frahm and his Erased Tapes cronies! I’ve a few of Banabila’s releases – I came across them through my buddy Rutger Zuyderveldt aka Machinefabriek – very attentive Netherlands sound designer folks the pair of them – and their four albums together. Banabila is more overtly ‘musical’ than Rutger, and these tracks present a nice worldview and warm electronics which you could imagine being on reel to reel tapes. And one thing I like about Michel’s work is that it’s not afraid to be emotional at times… very warm. There’s impressive instrumentation and very good mixing.
Listing boats, field recordings, loops, polyrhythms and sonic incantations. I wrote that without even reading the title ‘Just Above The Surface’ and it does what it says. I feel I am following a day, perhaps a few, from boats on surfaces of different depths. It’s as if we start on marsh land with all the rich birdlife and move through passages where we witness – from a distance – activity far out at sea. Can’t always make out the horizons as the album but I’m happy at this surprise release and the journey I’ve been on. Ferry to Holland please (Dr. Chris Dooks)