Harmonious Thelonious – Instrumentals! A Collection Of Outernational Music Studies [BBLP385]

HARMONIOUS THELONIOUS - Instrumentals! A Collection Of Outernational Music Studies

Outer-national dance discourses, that strive for no country and obey to no flag: when Düsseldorf based producer, Stefan Schwander creates music as Harmonious Thelonious, highly percussive rhythms, dissonances and melodic twists tango chatoyant virtuosic. All eight musical objects collected on “Instrumentals!” document a chapter in Harmonious Thelonious’s work, that left the noisy background drones behind in favor for a signature sound full of echoes of ancient rituals and ecstatic ceremonies.  Eight growing outlaw music studies crammed with living, deeply haunting entities. They all came to life in different cities like Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, London or Paris, first published on labels like Asafa, Disk, The Trilogy Tapes, or Versatile. United under one roof, they unfold their magical groove symbolism, notable hypnotic harmony and agitating rhythm archetypes in a total overpowering coalition.

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Harmonious Thelonious – Instrumentals! A Collection Of Outernational Music Studies [BBLP385]

Harmonious Thelonious – Kabriman [MNSX015]

Harmonious Thelonious’s ethnomusicologic journeys to the African continent continues with a burning package of 3 rhythmic tracks inspired by American minimalist music and African rhythm patterns. A primordial soup of polyrhythms and dense harmonics hypnotise the body into movement, transporting the origins of dance music to neoteric audiences.

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Harmonious Thelonious – Kabriman [MNSX015]

Harmonious Thelonious – Background Noise [KM051]

Harmonious Thelonious returns to the Kontra-Musik family with an absolute gem of a record. This is everything we want dance music to be: characterful, playful and impossibly funky. Harmonious Thelonious is a master of crafting organic sounding rhythms but arranging them in a manner that reminds one of a 1970’s car factory. Primal pulses running through modern assembly lines, gears and pistons covered in green lianas. The result is a perfect symbiosis between living tissue and mechanical parts – dance music for primitive cyborgs.

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Harmonious Thelonious – Background Noise [KM051]

VA – The Midnight Manual [MNSX5Y]

5 years since Midnight Shift’s first release in 2012, the label assembles a collective of artists, most of them are in advance of their full EPs releasing later. Representing the sounds of the label is this manual of secret moves, up in the sleeves. The mystic motley crew also comprises the alternate sides of familiar faces — Amato (The Hacker), Terry Lamborgini (Marco Bernardi), INNYSTER (Seixlack), Hodge in a new formation with Gramrcy, and an electro moniker from an undisclosed artist: Thermocline. From abstract acrobatics to the abrasive and the ultimate gob smack to the floor — The Midnight Manual.

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VA – The Midnight Manual [MNSX5Y]

Harmonious Thelonious – Apakapa EP [TTT059]

A dervish bewt from Stefan Schwander’s Harmonious Thelonious for TTT, Apakapa catches the Düsseldorf-based explorer meeting the moroccan flute of Ghazi Barakat for one of the project’s jazziest, moodily hypnotic episodes.

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Harmonious Thelonious – Apakapa EP [TTT059]

Harmonious Thelonious – Abel [VER117]

Stefan Schwander aka Harmonious Thelonious is definitely not a newcomer. He has been around for a long time and has already released lots of amazingly varied music on labels such as Emotional Response, Italic, Meakusma and Diskant. He’s also an integral part of the infamous Duesseldorf / Salon Des Amateurs axis that is an obvious hotbed of talent. He describes his style as “American minimalism vs. African drumming vs. European sequencing”, a heady mixture which is clearly evident on this EP though with a definite Middle Eastern twist. Here at Versatile HQ we were introduced to this clutch of tracks by one of the members of Acid Arab and we were totally blown away. Stefan has a very unique production style, fusing all of the above elements with a hint of Gamelan, a dash of tweaked FM synthesis type sounds with a dose of warm ambience and finally his own singular touch on the mix. We are very happy to present you these 4 tracks to you, an essential EP from one of European music’s true originals.

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Harmonious Thelonious – Abel [VER117]

Harmonious Thelonious – The Malag EP [MEA010]

Stefan Schwander has been releasing his heavily processed and sequenced take on African music and American minimalism under his Harmonious Thelonious moniker since 2008. His new EP on meakusma is only the second one on a non-German label. On two tracks, Schwander takes his trademark rhythmically and melodically repetitive sound into straightforward Techno territory, although some heavy phasing gives the raw power and stoic repetition of these tracks an ambientish, post-club feel. Two other tracks further develop his typically eclectic and informed sound, playing live organ on one of them, displaying a jittery and jumpy rhythmic style that looks for a groove that until now did not exist. Jesse Hackett, a.k.a. Elmore Judd, delivers a remix that takes the original firmly into ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’ territory, giving melody and rhythm a more open sense of space, and layering it with vocal samples to further add to a sense of Funk alienation.

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Harmonious Thelonious – The Malag EP [MEA010]