with soundscapes of Rabat and Marrakesh by Michael Ruesenberg
Although the audio-artist is primarily concerned with choosing the right microphone, he, like in Canetti, is immediately hit by curiosity, amazement, and surprise at the strange and new. Perhaps this starts off with the heavy traffic. It will certainly not end with the calls of the blind, to whom Canetti devoted a whole chapter and who today, almost like real singers, are an enticement to any sound collector.And it is the language - be it Arabic or Berber, in the taxi or on the Djema el Fna, singing the praises of merchandise or chanted down from the minarets - that captivates the listener, along with the sounds of the blacksmiths and other craftsmen in the souks of Marrakesh, the streams of people in the medinas, the long-drawn-out signals of trains, the sounds of the storks at the ruins of Chellah of Rabat, the creaking bamboo, the bells of the men selling water.
All the soundscape elements of Marrakesh and Rabat offer the background and link for the music of Norbert Stein´s Pata Masters.
Like Canetti, who did not fit into the role of a travel journalist either, Michael Rüsenberg sees his work as performing an aesthetic rather than documentary function. Here, sound in its purest and unaltered form finds its place alongside its own transformation beyond all recognition.
|On Pata Maroc Norbert Stein and the Pata Masters take us on a caravan of sorts asthey transport us to Marrakesh, the capital of the sultans and a major rail and trade center. From there we head to the Atlantic coast and arrive at Rabat, the capitol of Morocco. Here, saxophonist-composer Norbert Stein invites the listener to join him and his band on a voyage to this mystical and often mysterious land. Along with Michael Ruesenberg´s vivid soundscapes the band integrate ethnic woodwind instruments, Western style arrangements, North African melodies/hymns and modal concepts while incorporating various electronics and treatments.||The opener, "Railships to Rabat" features the exotic flute performances of Michael Heupel along with the subliminal background soundscapes intelligently provided by Michael Ruesenberg as he emulates street-noise, trains and vaguely familiar sounds. Ruesenberg provides shades of color and effective backdrops as he sets the stage for the mind´s eye. "Parliament of Music" is led by a straight four beat as Stein articulates choruses that intimate motion or perhaps a dynamic sense of travel and exploration. The lucid imagery becomes lifelike yet remains somewhat surreal, leaving portions or moments in time to be reconciled by our imaginations.|
|On many of these thirteen pieces, we are treated to unorthodox scales, spoken word, blues, scat vocals, multidimensional arrangements, ethnocentric rhythms, world beats and compelling interplay. The music toggles between joy, consternation, and in some instances the band purvey religious overtones which is evident in the hymn-like composition titled "Inside Chella" as if we had entered sacred grounds....||Norbert Stein and the "Pata Masters" deserve wider recognition on these shores. With each new release we never quite know what to expect as Stein´s recordings are akin to events, stories, epics....yet the at times stark realism or otherworldly connotations of his music play with our senses and approach us from contrasting angles. Cinema for the ears? Perhaps. Pata Maroc is enchanting, persuasive and absorbing. Hearing is believing!
Glenn Astarita / All About Jazz
Sebastien Moig / JazzoSphere
Nei, Kawala (orientalische Flöten)
Matthias von Welck
Bass-Schlitztrommeln, tiefes Schlagwerk