Mischa Blanos - City Jungle [CD]
Catalogue No.: IF1064CD
Release Date: 21st May 2021
1. Silicon Road
3. Audition at 9
4. City Jungle
9. The Aerie
10. On Cue
“The city is an untamed beast, and we are creating it one cell at a time” - Mischa Blanos Renowned as an exhilarating solo live performer, Mischa Blanos makes the piano his own on his second album “City Jungle”, using it as rhythmic element, organic groove or drowned in noise, perfectly interplaying with free flowing, polyrhythmic percussion and morphing synths, to create his own unique musical force.
From his early education through the release of two EPs, 'Second Nature´ (2018) and ‘Indoors´ (2019), to the creation of City Jungle, Blanos has lived in various cities around the world and travelled through many others. Each city held "a unique atmosphere and pressure" as Blanos describes it, “each of them with new rules to follow and different rhythms to attune to.”
Sometimes traveling alone, Mischa Blanos was able to dissolve into the crowd - to be an outsider exploring the depths of the huge, pulsing city organism. Often he was traveling with fellow countrymen Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia, performing as one third of the influential ‘Ro-minimal’ techno outfit Amorf, bringing his unique groove and musicality to their live shows at the world’s most famous clubs such as Fabric, Rex Club, The Block, Gazgolder and festivals such as ADE, Caprice and Sunwaves. Taking in new musical and social influences, a new part of the artist within Blanos was growing: the need not just to perform on the piano, but to finally make it his own.
In 2020, the global pandemic meant that Mischa Blanos found himself stuck in Bucharest, no longer able to travel. With a curfew in place between 9pm and 9am, he would spend long, solemn nights in his studio making music, letting the memories, the different rhythms and pressures of the cities and spaces that he used to explore, flow through him. So, he travelled from ‘The Silicon Road’, a composition based on the Japanese Hirajōshi scale and referencing a new kind of silk road merchant, ourselves, trading and sharing goods and data in an interconnected world, all the way to the ‘Steppe’, a desolate land of sublime emptiness, beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. “Here I can rest my eyes, hear the sound of my own breath and finally pause the noisy thoughts", Blanos muses.
During this period, Blanos realized that the pressure he felt in every city was not due to the mass of people, but the city itself. He could feel the robust structure imposed on himself. “The city is an Mischa Blanos untamed creature and we are creating it, one cell at a time” he explains. The albums core idea sits at this dichotomy; the way we humans have shaped and altered nature to fit our own needs. Mischa Blanos observes the modern city, but also the nature within it and surrounding it, taking different vantage points, trying to come to peace with the monolithic structures that we have surrounded ourselves with. “We molded soil and stone and built these dazzling places where we can live together protected from wild and unpredictable nature” he explains. “If it is made by us for us, why does it feel like a crushing force on the individual?”
With the cities around the world in lockdown and the nightlife shut down, on one of the albums key pieces, ‘Innervision’, Blanos evokes the memory of those euphoric nights performing with Amorf in
a packed, dark, energetic club. The piece swells with every second, its percussive polyrhythmic tones and melancholic solo piano gradually joining with a driving arpeggio and thundering kickdrum to produce that moment of ecstatic bliss shared by performers, party revelers and concert audiences alike, a feeling that we have all so desperately
craved to experience during the past year.
On ‘Tiptoe’, Blanos imagines a silent walk, where his steps follow the rhythm of the nature that surrounds him, its 7/4 measure delicately prancing along, first cautiously, then increasingly playfully, before dissolving. On ‘The Aerie’, as pianos loop urgently amidst frantic percussion, Blanos looks down on the metropolis from high above, observing the hectic concrete jungle below.
We travel with Blanos from interconnectivity, globalism, humanity - all the way to isolation, reflection, emptiness and bliss. City Jungle is an extensive exploration of all aspects of the modern age, but it is also a very personal one, born because Blanos was forced to stand still, to come face to face with himself. The result is, as always with Blanos, truly unique.