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Michel Banabila, Hannes Vennik, and Bobby

Michel Banabila, Hannes Vennik, and Bobby are not a traditional band by any stretch of the imagination. They came together to develop a concept album, Cards on the Table, their only release to date. Michel Banabila has previously worked with singer Ali Idrissi and released work on Tone Casualties in the U.S. and Pork Recordings in the U.K. Hannes Vennik is a poet who has released music on Rotterdam-based Worm Records. No last name has been revealed for the mysterious Bobby, and all we were able to uncover about him is that he is from Gent, Belgium.

The trio developed Cards on the Table through a series of meetings. The recording involves no instruments; rather, each person brought in sound materials which were encoded and stored in order on hard disc. Using a deck of playing cards and the rigid file structure of sound materials, the trio developed various combinations and mixes. In just under 19 minutes, you get 28 tracks which move quickly among different atmospheres and locations. Rhythms come and go, resulting in a frenetic, jumbled collages. To further complicate matters, the trio requests that the listener play the three-inch CD in shuffle mode. As you'll hear from the six tracks presented here, the interesting beats and samples crammed into each piece fit together to form a sound that could be described as post-downtempo. In keeping with the title, Cards on the Table comes with a piece of a Mexican tablecloth and a playing card.

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