Art is slow attention

21 Tracks for the 21st Century

21 Tracks for the 21st Century: Joachim Badenhorst

HART magazine and Q-O2, a Brussels-based space for experimental music and sound art, join forces with 21 Tracks for the 21st Century, a series of playlists in which we ask our guests: what music does this century need? Each time, we invite one artist, thinker or musician to prepare a playlist of those sounds, songs and pieces of music that will best arm their listeners with the tools to approach what is left of this young century. This month's guest is Joachim Badenhorst.

Foto Théo Lanau

Belgian composer and saxophonist/clarinettist Joachim Badenhorst (1981, Antwerp) is a performing and recording artist active in the creative music scene in Europe, the US and Asia. After years of conservatory training in jazz improvisation and new music, he has since divided his time between Belgium and cities in the US and Europe, collaborating and recording worldwide with established new and experimental music ensembles and artists while incessantly exploring the visceral elements of sound. He also leads his own projects, ranging from solo improvised performances to his electronic project Zero Years Kid and his larger ensemble Carate Urio Orchestra, and he composes music for the films of Rinus Van de Velde.

Badenhorst is interested in the semantic, conceptual, intrinsic, and formalistic integration of ideas from various artistic media into his musical compositions. He also takes a deep interest in revealing the inherent relation between contemporary and 'ethnic' styles of music. He collaborated with traditional musicians from Turkey and Japan and toured in China with reinterpreted traditional Chinese music.

  1. Iannis Xenakis - Persepolis

Xenakis makes my favorite noise music. There are so many layers that, one by one, float to the surface or slowly unravel. This influenced me to compose for my Carate Urio Orchestra.

  1. Joe McPhee - Nation time

Joe McPhee had a huge impact on me when I saw him perform in a New York basement in his late twenties. It was the purest and most honest thing I've seen a saxophonist do. It made me decide to go all out for music.

  1. Sam Amidon - how come that blood

Blood-curdling folk fairy tale by master storyteller Amidon, surrounded by impressive musicians (that bass line by Shahzad Ismaily, and those string arrangements by Nico Muhly on this song!) from the Bedroom Community collective.

  1. Morton Feldman - Rothko Chapel

Beautiful, slow, soft music, which shifts very slowly from color to color, a bit like Rothko's paintings.

  1. Sun City Girls - mr. lonely viola 

I've never seen the movie but listened to this soundtrack a lot. Such a beautiful atmosphere. Eyvind Kang on viola. I regret never seeing Sun City Girls live, what a band...

  1. Frank Ocean - Nikes

It could be any song from Blond or Channel Orange. A few years ago, listening non-stop to Frank Ocean, I was inspired to start singing (rapping :/) like Zero Years Kid myself.

  1. Toshi Ishiyanagi - From The Works Of Tadanori Yokoo

Strong album, a mix of Psychedelic rock, musique concrete and Japanese Enka music.

  1. Bonnie Prince Billie - Love comes to me

I'm a big BPB fan. It took me a while to get into this album, because it's much more orchestrated than his other work, but in the end I think it's stunning. Recorded in Iceland, with many of the same people who played on Sam Amidon's album earlier in this list (including arrangements by Nico Muhly). I saw BPB perform solo in Chicago a few years ago, and was so inspired that I went to Guitar Center the next day to buy an acoustic guitar. Now, five years later, I still can't play the guitar, but the idea is still there.

  1. Lee Konitz - Fooling Myself

Lee Konitz is one of my favorite saxophonists. I really like his approach and improvisations: endless variations on the theme. On this album (Motion) he only plays with bass and drums, which is rather exceptional for him. During my studies at the conservatory of The Hague, there were times when I got sick of jazz, but Lee Konitz was the one who brought me back with a lot of love for music.

  1. Daft Punk - The Grid (Tron soundtrack)

I really like film music and Daft punk. This track with the voice of Jeff Bridges and then the build up to an electronic version of the acoustic, orchestral opener of the soundtrack: bliss.

  1. Meridian Brothers - donde estas Maria 

I got to know the wonderful world of Meridian brothers in Touki Deplhine's project 'Machine', for which Eblis Alvares of Meridian Brothers co-composed music. The music is so simple and weird and humorous and danceable at the same time. During the performance, me and Nora Fischer sing some of the songs he composed, in Spanish (which we both don't understand), very wrong and fun to do.

  1. Arve Henriksen - Opening image

I really like Arve Henriksen's first solo albums. His sound on trumpet (and also his singing) are unique. I once saw him perform solo in a church in Dublin, which completely roasted my brain.

  1. Mac Miller - Good news 

Moving track from a moving album, which was partly completed by Jon Brion after Miller's far too early passing. Boy what a shame…

  1. John Butcher - Sporangia (High)

John Butcher has influenced me a lot, I've seen him perform solo pretty often, every time it's an experience. He masters his instruments so intensely that he can manipulate every sound, overtone and weird noise like a master. I was able to play together with him a few times, in duo and in trio with him and Paul Lytton (Nachtigall album on my Klein label).

15. Brokenhearted Dragonflies - Insect Electronica from Southeast Asia. (Sublime frequencies)

Just as the title describes it: this album contains recordings of dragonflies in Laos, Thailand and Burma and it sounds like the most far-out electronic noise music.

  1. Erik Satie - Gnossiene No1

This music seems so beautiful and so simple, almost childishly simple, you would think it would be easy to make something similar, but it isn't. It's incomprehensible that Satie was so little appreciated during his lifetime. It must be partly due to his eccentric character. A few years ago I had the pleasure of making an album about Satie's music with pianist Fumio Yasuda for the German Winter & Winter label.

  1. Earth - Omens and Portents I: The Driver (The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull)

I really like Earth, and everything from the Southern Lord label. I was once at a label night at a Masonic temple in Brooklyn where Wolves in the Throne Room, Pelican, Earth and finally Sunn 0)) played, and each band seemed to get louder and more intense. With Earth I really like the riffs, and the very light drumming, which fits together wonderfully. On this record (and this song) Bill Frisell plays (!).

  1. Duke Ellington - Mount Harissa (Far east suites) 

I collect Duke Ellington albums, for me the best band of all time. Choosing one song is next to impossible, but the Far East Suites is still a favourite of all the 'suites', any song from the far east suites could be in this list.

19. Tibetan Buddhism: The Ritual Orchestra & Chants - Mahkala Sadhava: Dun-kye (Nonesuch)

Together with my partner I have traveled many times in the far west of China on the Tibetan plateau, visiting many monasteries and schools there. This area, the people and the culture have a special place in my heart.

  1. Kid Cudi - Day 'N' Nite

Such a cool song, which he initially posted on his Myspace before it appeared on his first mixtape. I went to see him in Brussels this week, and he didn't play this song, which I thought was a statement. He has plenty of other songs of course, but I was still a bit disappointed, I was looking forward to hearing it live.

  1. David Krakauer - Love song for Lemberg / Lvov

The first group I started performing with was a klezmer trio (On Fidldikn Mamzer). I was about 15 years old, we played in Antwerp cafes and went around with the hat and earned some money or got something to drink. I listened a lot to klezmer clarinetists like Giora Feidman and David Krakauer and that's how I ended up with John Zorn and Tzadik and got to know a lot of new music. We also played this song with our klezmer band.

You can find out more or listen to Joachim's music on his bandcamp.

Joachim Badenhorst will play at following dates:
Dec 3 with Touki Delphine 'Machine' at Ear To The Ground festival, Ghent
Dec 4 Aki - Kaap, Ostend
Dec 7 with Bram Stadhouders - Paradox, Tilburg
December 15/16 with Stefan Winter's 'The ninth wave' at Arter, Istanbul