Label: Tapu Records
83年頃からアクティブに活動、世界各地で採集し続ける音風景に自身のセンスを落とし込み絶妙なアンビエントイメージを紡ぎ出す、オランダのサウンドアーティストにして作曲家のMichel Banabila。限定300部プレスの初回版は即完売となった近年の楽曲だけを集めた2CDアルバム[Tapu Sampler 2016]の限定100部再プレス版。Machinefabriekを含む多くのゲストのサポートも受けた、この作家の音楽性を知るには申し分のない一枚。
Science fiction writer and visionary Philip K. Dick once stated that the ultimate in paranoia would be that things are turning in on you.
Not my boss, but my boss’s phone is plotting against me. Dick died in 1982, the same year that Blade Runner came out, the movie based on his novel 'Do Androids Dreams of Electric Sheep?' that would eventually turn him into a cult hero. But that’s beside the point. What matters is that Philip K. Dick made his statement long before every new phone update sends us to a state of frenzy.
Michel Banabila, not born yesterday, must have intuitively understood Dick’s notion a long long time ago. In a sense he’s a classical electronic composer, if there is such a thing, who has a knack for the most sweeping melodies and can branch out in any style that might fit his ideas. A versatile musician, no doubt, but at the core of his art lies a slight distrust of things as they are, a certain doubt that gives his music no uncertain edge. It’s that edge that makes Banabila’s music not just good, but extraordinary.
Tapu Records is Banabila’s very own label, taking its name from his cat, and also indicating a Polynesian traditional concept denoting something holy or sacred. The Tapu Sampler 2016 you hold in your hands collects mostly his recent tracks, some conceived with others, some solo. The sheer range of music alone is impressive. The introvert and intense mixture of viola (played by Oene van Geel) and sinus tones that make up ‘Sinus en Snaar’ sits uneasily next to the occasionally frantic ‘Jump Cuts’, recorded with drummer Joost Kroon, and the breezy ‘Narita’, performed with Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt). However, all of them have something essential in common: they conjure up strong images. This is music you can almost SEE.
A recurring element in the music of Michel Banabila is still the voice, no surprise for long time admirers who remember the infamous VoizNoiz series. It’s in the YouTube-samples that give ‘Take Me There’ its eerie feeling, in ‘In Other Words’ where he uses fragments of text to create a new language, in ‘E.T.’, in which Banabila treated his own voice into some otherworldly sound, a piece that featured recently in a mix by renowned French DJ Rone, next to tracks by Autechre and Caribou. In his urge to always seek new ways Michel Banabila’s music seems constantly out of place when it is just as much of the times, whereof this collection is living proof.
(David Kleijwegt, November 2015)