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by Michel Banabila

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    ***** 2LP VINYL REISSUE *****
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Mono/Metro 03:11
Where? 02:37




SHINY BEAST: www.shinybeast.nl/item/466968/banabila_michel_voiznoiz_urban_soundcapes_2lp.html
Released: October 29 2018
Cat.No.Vinyl: Steam2018-1
UPC Vinyl: 7436914917951
Distribution: Clearspot

It has been almost two decades since Steamin'Soundworks released Banabila's VoizNoiz CD.The album received great critical acclaim and was licensed to Pork Recordings (UK) and Tone Casualties (USA). VoizNoiz continues to find many afficionados, hence the reason for making it available now on double vinyl LP including a brand new extended remix with Oene Van Geel playing viola, voice and his amazing cracklebox. The double 175g vinyl is housed in a hardback gatefold cover and is Limited to 234 copies. The new 2018 Remix and the original 1999 album are available separate as download. More music from Banabila's back-catalogue was recently released on vinyl through the Bureau-B and Séance Centre imprints.Banabila continues to release new adventurous music as well, often on his own TapuRecords.

PRESS on VoizNoiz VINYL 2019:

Expose Online, Published 2019-03-07

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. (Henry Schneider)

PRESS on VoizNoiz VINYL 2018:

Gonzo (circus) 148, December 2018:

Mooi uitgevoerde heruitgave op dubbel vinyl van Michel Banabila’s album ‘VoizNoiz’, oorspronkelijk uit 1999.
Zoals de titel suggereert, staat de stem centraal - zij het niet als zang, maar als bron van een eindeloze verzameling korte samples waarmee Banabila speelt alsof het losse noten op een keyboard zijn. De samples zijn te kort om te herkennen en lijken overal en nergens vandaan te komen: commercials, popmuziek, een soek, de lokale supermarkt. Het geheel wordt bij elkaar gehouden door laidback ritmes, die soms een beetje een hiphop gevoel hebben. Afgezien daarvan staat ‘VoizNoiz’ zo goed als los van andere stromingen, zoals wel meer van Banabila’s werk. Dat maakt het ook meteen tijdloos; er is weinig waaruit blijkt dat de muziek al bijna twintig jaar oud is. Als we hier een vergelijking aan zouden moeten hangen, zou het iets zijn als ‘een J Dilla remix van een nummer van John Oswald waarop hij Eno & Byrne plundert’. Naast de 20 tracks van het orgineel, staat op de D-kant een nieuwe remix door Banabila en Oene van Geel, met wie hij wel vaker samenwerkt. Ze nemen de tijd om dezelfde thema’s en ritmes op te rekken tot een soundscape van een kwartier, waarin stemmen en beats af en aan waaien, als ondergrond voor Van Geels kraakdoos en viool, die hij afwisselend stemmig en experimenteel laat klinken. ‘VoizNoiz’ is eigenzinnig, slim en groovy. Als een wandeling door een stad op de eerste mooie dag van de lente, als iedereen vrolijk en een beetje gek is. (msch)

TONESHIFT (November Wrap-Up)

Hard to do a quick summation on this one as it has some distinct personalities, all quite wonderful and odd.
Banabila brightens the room with abstract effects, crackle and hiss and playful genre-bending – from blues to pop to world musics to county fair to folk and back again –all brought together in a clever electronic production. It’s got a soul and a wry sensibility. Oh, and there’s a notable, bright mix collaboration with Oene Van Geel. (TJ Norris)

AMBIENT MUSIC GUIDE (best of 2018)

It seems DJ Shadow and Art of Noise had a love child in the 90’s and nobody told me. My strangest discovery of 2018 was this reissue of an album from 20 years ago by the prolific and talented Dutch alchemist Michel Banabila. On VoizNoiz he shows all the cut-and-paste sampling genius of Shadow as well as Art Of Noise’s quirky brilliance with processed cut-up vocals, and then some. In particular he has a talent for voice samples. He shreds and re-contextualises assorted vocal bytes with grooves of slow funk, stoned hip hop and a bit of drum’n’bass, and his technique is jaw-dropping. Any discernible words no longer matter; the voices have become pure instruments. And it’s far from just being a display of virtuosity, because once you get past the technique the natural musicality of Banabila’s creations shines brightly. A leftfield downtempo masterpiece. (Mike G)

NORMAN RECORDS (Staff recommendation **** 8/10)

First-time vinyl edition of this 1999 album from Dutch sound artist Michel Banabila, remastered and pressed in an edition of 234 copies, housed in a sturdy hardback gatefold sleeve and featuring a new extended remix featuring Oene Van Geel on the D-side.
Alongside the group of musicians Banabila assembled to play on the ‘VoizNoiz’, tracks are also constructed from tapes, found sounds and location recordings of voices from the streets of Yemen and Holland. The album takes a hip-hop like Magpie approach to recontextualizing raw materials - weird and wonderful/traditional international obscurities and folk musics are sampled and collaged, smearing their geographic roots into a new borderless music. The way in which he takes disparate elements and creates such coherent tracks with the players is magnificent. The results are somewhere between Holger Czukay’s ethnomusical oddities and Madlib’s deep crate digging Beat Kondukta series if he also included a band. There are also some occasional absurd moments reminiscent of Nurse With Wound or People Like Us.
There’s a lot to absorb across the twenty relatively short tracks, some of which are like vignettes, but as a whole, it feels like a global journey without leaving home - except the order and location of things has been totally shuffled and jumbled. Therefore nothing is how you imagined it would be, and some of the strange manipulated and processed voices make it kinda trippy!


A lot of time has passed since Dolf Mulder reviewed Michel Banabila's 'VoizNoiz' CD back in Vital Weekly 189. Also various things happened. Back then I used to leave much of Banabila's music to Mulder, wrongly assuming it was all more about world music along the lines of Jon Hassell, calling it wrongly 'fourth world music', until Banabila slapped me, quite rightfully and politely, on the wrist, basically saying I was wrong and should listen better. I did, and much to my surprise much of
Banabila's music covers a wider territory, both ambient, world music, experiment and even noise, as his for instance his work with Machinefabriek testify. So when this 2LP re-issue of the original
1999 'VoizNoiz' arrived I didn't forward this to Mulder, but decided to go for it myself, with the recently (last decade or so) acquired knowledge of Banabila's music. As the title indicates, voices play quite an important role in the music and while I have no idea where these voices come from (samples? radio? own recordings in the field? own singing?), they very much remind the listener of 'My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts' by Eno/Byrne. There are a whole bunch of musicians thanked for their contribution, Tanar Catalpinar [East Meets West], Hanyo van Oosterom[Byzantium, Flying Dutchman], Chris Grem [Cobraz], Hans Greeve [Banabila/Saka, Rick de Vito] and Remko Deyl
[Omar Ka], but they might as well contribute some musical notes. The music is perhaps also a reminder of that Eno/Byrne collaboration, as it dwells heavily on the use of rhythm, but at times is quite light and cheery, if not also much more fragmented. Here too Banabila works extensively sampling, lifting his sources wide and far. From old records, TV tunes, obscure documentaries and with all of this he creates some excellent, mostly short, pieces of music. Only once it connects with a dance music scene, when it becomes drum 'n bass like, but in none of the other pieces there is this connection, which makes the music actually very much out of any time, really. Throughout the music has a very filmic character, even when the shortness pieces make it sounds a bit fragmented. Lots of these pieces could easily be edited onto a movie or a documentary (you may not be surprised to learn that Banabila does quite a bit of that for Dutch TV and film). These pieces are short, sweet, dark, funny, strange and to the point and yet this variation is never strange; it all works very well together.
As a bonus there is a new sixteen-minute suite, which is a remix of sounds used on the original and its crafted together by Banabila and Oene van Geel, with whom he regularly collaborates. Van Geel plays viola and crackle box and adds voice. This too evolves around rhythm, but over the course of the piece changes the station quite a bit, while sounds fly in and out, yet none of which are easily recognized from the original pieces. Only towards the end, when things become sufficiently more abstract the viola of Van Geel gets a dominant position in the piece, making a soaring a beautiful end to the album. The subtitle of this album is 'urban sound scapes' and that is surely a true thing; sounds from all of the urban landscape are used here, think of the inner city of
Banabila's hometown Rotterdam on a hut summer's day, and it is most lovely, weird, pleasant album. The mood here is certainly as diverse as the city. (FdW)

Pressquotes on VoizNoiz CD (1999-2000)

“Banabila strings together 20 soothing skunk funk oddities that delight and bemuse in equal portions. Tender beats, oddball samples, live instrumentation and vocal snippets weave together to make a warming abstract picture, one of those ones that looks good whichever way you hang it”

“The strength of this fascinating found-sound pastiche will be enough to send fans of musique concrete, advanced turntablism, and trip-hop scouring the import bins... -it's an example of medieval technique meeting 21st century technology, and the result is wonderful. This is an exquisite album by an artist who deserves much wider recognition.” (Rick Anderson).

“...Banabila assembles riffs from found-sound and vocal fragments into oddly conversational grooves. This approach recalls Coil, but without their inward-looking menace. VoizNoiz is every bit as post-modern as the work of today's DSP-terrorists, but it's a much easier listen.” (Kent Williams)

Full reviews:

A thoroughly engaging, amusing and charming debut from new Pork signing Michael Banabila. Slightly more random than your usual Pork output, but still retaining the essential ingredients, Banabila strings together 20 soothing skunk funk oddities that delight and bemuse in equal portions. Tender beats, oddball samples, live instrumentation and vocal snippets weave together to make a warming abstract picture, one of those ones that looks good whichever way you hang it.
(Nov 2000)

The strength of this fascinating found-sound pastiche will be enough to send fans of musique concrete, advanced turntablism, and trip-hop scouring the import bins. Most of the material that comprises these 20 tracks comes from field recordings of human voices speaking, singing, declaiming, and arguing, all of them reportedly made in the streets, buildings, and train stations of Holland and Yemen. The recordings are cut up and pasted together in sometimes eerie and frequently downright funky ways: the result sometimes sounds like a collaboration between Jon Hassell and African Head Charge (as on the danceable "Do Something About It" and the even more Hassell-ish "Sorokin Blues") and sometimes like a cross between Tricky and the Residents (as on the darkly funky and melodically quirky "Chickensoap). On "Where?" the snippets of speaking and singing are arranged by pitch, and the result is a sort of techno version of hocketing; it's an example of medieval technique meeting 21st century technology, and the result is wonderful. This is an exquisite album by an artist who deserves much wider recognition. (Rick Anderson).

KORTEX Electronica:
VoizNoiz c'est avant tout, des collages sonores mélodiques et urbains. C'est aussi Michel Banabila et une fantastique collaboration de musiciens de Rotterdam. L'ensemble ainsi crée s'aventure dans des territoires voisinants l'Acid Jazz, le trip hop et la peinture sonore abstraite. VoizNoiz c'est un film qui défile dans notre tête : l'ambiance cinématographique propagée par les différentes pièces de l'album s'impose à notre esprit et nous fait voyager un peu partout à travers le monde à l'aide d'un fond musical riche doublé de différents échantillons hétéroclites. Chaque mouvement est pourtant bien clair, et on peut facilement associer les pièces à tel ou tel événement fictif. VoizNoiz est un album diversifié qui bénéficie pourtant d'un solide fil conducteur qui permet à l'auditeur de ne pas se perdre au sein des myriades de sonorités exploitées par Michel Banabila et ses copains. Une belle et amusante expérience auditive. (Yanik Trudeau)

Post modern assemblage of found sounds and vocal fragments. Sound collage can often be more conceptually interesting than listenable. Michel Banabila handily avoids this on the unclassifiable VoizNoiz. He uses location recordings from Holland and Yemen, along with live guitar, voices, bass and percussion to construct what he calls "urban sound scapes". Banabila assembles riffs from found-sound and vocal fragments into oddly conversational grooves. This approach recalls Coil, but without their inward-looking menace. VoizNoiz is every bit as post-modern as the work of today's DSP-terrorists, but it's a much easier listen. (Kent Williams).

Holland's Michel Banabila is one of those rare musicians who can take an avant-garde conception and turn it into a highly entertaining work of art. VoizNoiz is a masterpiece of found sounds and voices used rhythmically and humorously with obvious nods to Jean Michel Jarre's classic collaboration with Laurie Anderson, Zoolook, without the dark psychological edge, and Coil, without the homo-erotic magick. VoizNoiz is an update of the genre into contemporary trip-hop, with touches of exotica and Asian house music. There is a slight Carribean edge in some parts, but the jack-hammer editing of the sound montage is so intense that by the time one is able to digest an influence, it has been replaced by something completely different. Think of a tropical island version of Tipsy, only more cartoony (which is no surprise as the executive producer is the legendary animator Gabor Csupo.) Though the CD is separated into 20 different tracks, I defy anyone to figure out which one is which without looking at the track indicator. It's like a lovingly unified vision of schizophrenia done Tex Avery style. (Wilhelm Murg)

The Pork folks discovered Banabila and flourished this remarkable disc with "Mono/Metro," a holler-sampling-and-contorting fragment of genius that Moby would stomp Fairfield County, Connecticut into the subsoil for. (Paul Cooper).

Twenty wonderful tracks with a modern feel and surprisingly organic feel. The first half of the CD made me feel like I was in one of those old 50's beatnik surrealist movies that usually didn't have soundtracks. The flowing narrative, workings of Banabilla make for a great score to such silent surrealist flicks. It's also very danceable. Not to say you'd expect to find this in a dance club but dance in the performance arts meaning pairs nicely to the composition. The second half slowly started more and more like the present until it seemed to be a musical commentary on life in the urban setting. This release is quite refreshing not only because of its mature, precise stylings and fine production value but also because of its extremelyexpressive feel. A wonderful and most recommended listen . (Kae)


released January 1, 1999

Tracklist / credits Vinyl:

Side A

1 Mono/Metro (3:12)

2 Do Something About It! (2:40)

3 Sorokin Blues (2:43)

4 Voiz IV (2:48)

5 Parade Bizarre (1:15)

6 Milos Came By (2:32)

7 Chickensoap (1:05)

Side B

1 Voiz III (4:09)

2 Where? (2:38)

3 Urban Scapes (3:27)

4 Streets of SAM City (2:18)

5 Adventures of Bob Badoubah (3:14)

Side C

1 Hosanna (2:20)

2 Da Boubelli (3:17)

3 Suma Mix (1:34)

4 Babylon (1:23)

5 Azmignie (2:12)

6 Traffic (0:40)

7 New Circles (3:34)

8 Wonderful Mistakes (1:59)

Side D

1 Banabila & Van Geel Remix (16:10)


Additional musicians:

Milos Benistant (A6), Tanar Çatalpinar (A2 A4), Remko Deijl (B1), Oene van Geel (D1), Hans Greeve (A2 B1 C2), Chris Grem (A3 A4 B1), Ali Idrissi (A6), Radboud Mens (D1), Hanyo van Oosterom (A6 C1 C5 C7)

Jurgen Brouwer: recordings/mixage (A1 A6 C1 C2)

Yaşar Saka: additional drum-recording/programming

Additional co-writers:

Çatalpinar/Greeve (A2), Çatalpinar/Grem (A4), Brouwer/Idrissi/Van Oosterom (A6), Deijl/Greeve/Grem (B1), Brouwer/Van Oosterom (C1), Brouwer/Greeve (C2), Van Oosterom (C5 C7)

Marlon Wolterink / White Noise Studio: remastering for vinyl

Rutger Zuydervelt: graphic design

Jacky van Dijk: frontcover photo Sana’a, Yemen 1998
Michel Banabila: additional photography

Published by Steamin’ Songs
2018 © + ℗ Steamin’Soundworks


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Steamin'Soundworks is an independent music company based in Hilversum, The Netherlands, founded in 1997 by Roel Kruize.
Past releases include Tuxedomoon, Kim Cascone, Michael Wells, Scanner, PSI Performer, COIL, Atom Heart, Nurse With Wound, Legendary Pink Dots, Cosey Fanni Tutti and more
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