ECM Records

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin – Awase


ECM Records

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin – Awase


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“In 2016, after a decade-long silence, pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch resurrected his groundbreaking Mobile unit for Continuum. Awase sees the musician reconvening Ronin -- the band that drew the attention of ECM's Manfred Eicher and released four stellar albums between 2006 and 2012 -after a six-year break. The lineup has been trimmed from a quintet to a quartet, consisting of veterans Sha on bass clarinet and alto saxophone, drummer Kaspar Rast, and newcomer Thomi Jordy on electric bass. Continuing to compose in his modular system where interlocking rhythms meet contrapuntal, minimal grooves that Bärtsch defines as "Zen funk," he delivers new works as well as expanded and revisioned takes on earlier pieces as a way of extending the band's reach to embrace and integrate some of the concepts offered on Continuum.” – All Music

“Bartsch’s cerebral moods are all about form and texture and that is well patented on compositions such as “Modul 36”, where arpeggiated piano with sporadic pointillism work together with the mobility of the electric bass to create beautiful moments. Jordi then rebels and sets up a funk-inflected manifesto armed with piano’s sinuous melodic exclamations and extended techniques. “Modul 34” also boasts a cool funky pose launched after a serene preparatory passage. Whenever Rast exhibits his dry drum fills, he announces nuanced mutations in the intensity of the groove delivered in six.

The 18-minute “Modul 58” can be seen as a sum of all the other pieces. It starts with slowly built piano layers enlivened by occasional bass harmonics and pumps, delicate cymbal splashes, and non-intrusive sax embellishments. Obstinate high-pitched notes on the piano drive us into a hypnotic rhythm that feels half-rock, half-electronic. Afterward, the quartet goes through a percussive phase enriched by saxophone pop sounds and air notes, muted pianism, and hi-hat delineations. It all ends up in a danceable acid jazz-funk hooked up in the fine rhythmic counterpoint between sax and piano.” – Jazz Trail

Item description:        


Nik Bärtsch's Ronin




ECM Records


Vinyl, LP, Album, 180g



Release Date:

04 May 2018




Avant-garde Jazz

Catalog No:

ECM 2603, 673 5869