“I chose the path of greatest resistance for my music voluntarily”, admits Mario Batkovic. Batkovic is a Swiss, Bosnian-born accordion player who’s on a mission to expand the possibilities of the instrument to its very outer limits. Through the accordion he’s been able to channel an unbound desire to explore and express, a freedom that he has been denied through the various physical, social, cultural, and political borders that have existed in his life.
The longest road is often most rewarding, and through Batkovic’s restless searching and anarchistic approach to accordion music, he’s carved his own place as an indefinable but intoxicating musical entity. His music criss-crosses between classical and contemporary, often featuring many classical cadences and harmonies, yet is also interlaced with less conventional sounds by using the instrument percussively and draws from minimalism.
When Geoff Barrow (Portishead) was introduced to Batkovic’s music, he immediately realised both its musical and technical proficiencies, as well as its sheer uniqueness. Batkovic was subsequently invited to support Beak on their 2015 tour and then signed to his record label: Invada. Geoff began working with Batkovic in the studio, encouraging him to write in new ways and opening doors for new musical directions. And the finished product, is a manifestation of this.
“I wanted all of the instruments breathing, air noises and the sounds of flapping of claps to be audible. So the handicaps of the accordion can be transformed into benefits, creating a new sound.”
Petrels is the solo project of London-based musician and illustrator, Oliver Barrett. Since releasing his debut Haeligewielle in 2011, Petrels has toured across Europe and shared a stage with the likes of Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Trouble Books, Demdike Stare, Nadja, and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster). Having also collaborated with and provided remixes for artists as varied as Duane Pitre, Brassica, Talvihorros and Max Cooper, Petrels’ output remains consistently thrillingly eclectic and unpredictable.
Tickets £12.00 +bf adv.
Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ