with soundscapes of Rabat and Marrakesh by Michael Ruesenberg

bambooIn his book "The voices of Marrakesh" (1954) Elias Canetti succumbs to the fascinating power of language: "I did not want to loose anything of the strangeness of these calls, but be moved by the sounds as they are, unadulterated by artificial and inadequate knowledge." The curiosity of the author does not easily coincide with the interests of the audio-artist, especially if the latter rejects the idea of depicting a country by its sounds.

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.

bird ibisAnd 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.

Michael Ruesenberg

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. 	electrical circuitryFrom 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. 	electrical circuitryRuesenberg 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. 	electrical circuitryThe 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.... 	electrical circuitryNorbert 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

Des instruments traditionnels comme le neï, des percussions, des effets électroniques: autant de couleurs pour nous faire pénétrer dans un univers envoûtant et mystérieux. 	electrical circuitryNorbert Stein est un musicien passionné par ce qui l'entoure. Ses sources d'inspirationet la musique qu'il souhaite proposer se nourrissent des sons, des voix et de tous les bruits qu'il entend et découvre au cours de chacune de ses pérégrinations. Pata Maroc nous plonge au coeur de Rabat et de Marrakech. Le saxophoniste et ses complices mêlent les sons qu'ils ont enregistrés et les empreintes d'une vie qui se déroule dans un lieu précis, avec tout ce qui le définit, à leurs improvisations fécondes. L'album est surprenant et nous pousse à plus de curiosité. A découvrir sans tarder."

Sebastien Moig / JazzoSphere

Norbert Stein
Saxophon, Elektronik
Rachid Zeroual
Nei, Kawala (orientalische Flöten)
Han Buhrs
Stimme, Elektronik
Michael Heupel
Flöten, Sub-Kontra-Bassflöte
Klaus Mages
Schlagzeug, Percussion
Christoph Hillmann
Schlagzeug, Percussion
Matthias von Welck
Bass-Schlitztrommeln, tiefes Schlagwerk
Michael Rüsenberg