Exposé Online banner

Michel Banabila — VoizNoiz - Urban Soundscapes
(Steamin' Soundworks STEAM201, 1999/2018, 2LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-03-07

VoizNoiz - Urban Soundscapes Cover art

In 1999 Dutch avant garde / experimental composer Michel Banabila released VoizNoiz, a collection of short experiments with looped samples and electronics. Now Steamin’ Soundworks has reissued VoizNoiz plus some bonus tracks as a double LP and download. Subtitled Urban Sound Scapes, the album is 48 minutes of experimentation spread across 20 tracks, plus a bonus track remix by Michel Banabila and Oene Van Geel clocking in at 16 minutes. All of the tracks impart different aspects of urban life in various locales. Many of the tracks have a Mid-Eastern vibe much like Bryn Jones AKA Muslimgauze who passed away in 1999. Each of the tracks is built upon processed looped voice samples, sometimes just single words, to provide a rhythmic foundation. Then drums, electronics, and keyboards complete each composition. While by and large this is an experimental release, there are moments that hook the listener, such as the catchy phrasing in “Sorokin Blues.” Other sonic touchstones could be Kraftwerk’s 1986 Electric Cafe, most notably “Boing Boom Tschak” and “Telephone Call,” as well 1981’s “Pocket Calculator,” and possibly a bit of Laurie Anderson’s techniques thrown into the mix. The one track that sounds quite a bit different from the rest of the album is “Wonderful Mistakes,” which instead of looped samples, uses gated synth chords, possibly Mellotron, and other odd electronic sounds in unconventional rhythmic ways. These little snippets of sonic explorations ranging from 39 seconds to 4 minutes are the perfect duration. So it was with some apprehension that I approached the 16 minutes remix. I was pleasantly surprised. The remix is quite beautiful in places with the addition, I assume, of Oene’s violin. It would take the dedicated listener is dissect the remix and compare to the other 20 tracks to determine what elements were remixed. But I don’t see much value in doing that. Suffice it to say, the remix with its looped rhythms, found sounds, and violin is excellent.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Michel Banabila

More info
http://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/voiznoiz

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dave Sinclair - Full Circle & Into the Sun – Dave Sinclair has long been known as the main keyboardist in Caravan. During recording for the group's The Unauthorized Breakfast Item CD, a rift between Sinclair and longtime bandleader Pye Hastings...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues