Michel Banabila is a prolific Dutch composer who was originally introduced to me by my dear friend Peter Van Cooten (of ambientblog.net) and since appeared on my rotations and these pages on countless occasions. I said “prolific” and I meant it because it’s a bit tough to keep up with all his output, ranging from numerous collaborations, like the one with Machinefabriek titled Entropia (Eilean, 2019) to studio albums and singles, appearing on his very own Tapu Records, such as this latest, Uprooted release. The music of Banabila is a microcosm of itself, a complex interplay between acoustic and electronic, found objects, field recordings, and unnamed unheard of textures produced in a combination of all of the above. For his latest solo release, Banabila employs an unlikely array of instruments, which unfold a patiently evolving landscape full of wonder, wit, and awe. Here I pick up on the bass clarinet (played by Gareth Davis) exchanging breath with the harmonium (or is that an accordion of sorts?), as the gleaming piano keys lay down their solemn chords. The woodwinds and the strings both pluck and bellow, and it is often hard to tell which instrument takes on the lead. The electronics and guitar (courtesy of Stijn Hüwels of Slaapwel) only enhance the already elaborate and sophisticated palette of the sound. The pieces are then stitched from the original material, sampled from the ensemble, and weaved into an ambient tapestry, which rests so warm and cosy on my mind. For fans of captivating music, deep and wise. (Mike Lazarev)




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.