ECSTASY THROUGH ASCETICISMNik Bärtsch’s Ronin is the Zen-Funk band on the prestigious ECM Record label. Nik Bärtsch’s Ronins incorporate elements of disparate musical worlds, be they funk, new classical music or repetetive sounds from Japanese ritual music.
“Bärtsch may have just made the first post-Ecstasy jazz record. His self-styled ‘zen funk’ mixes Steve Reich’s repetitive minimalism with gently chugging James Brown grooves”.
“Twangs as Japanese blades, Bärtsch’s precision keeps you wide awake“.
Nik Bärtschs own trademark sound, the RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC, points out to the fundamental concept of his musical thinking. The music shows a close affinity to architecturally organized space and is governed by the principles of repetition and reduction as well as by interlocking rhythms. A piece of music can be entered, inhabited like a room. It moves forward and transforms through obsessive circular movements, superimposition of different meters and micro-interplay. The listeners attention is directed toward minimal variations and phrasing.
The band Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin becomes an integral organism – like an animal, a habitat, an urban space. One must think with ears and hands.