Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin
“Awase,” a martial arts term that means moving together in the sense of matching energies, is a fitting metaphor for the dynamic precision, tessellated grooves, and balletic minimalism of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin.
Six years have passed since the last release from the Swiss group. In the interim, trimmed from quintet to quartet and with new bassist Thomy Jordi fully integrated, Ronin has become a subtly different band. Bärtsch speaks of a newfound freedom and flexibility in the approach to the material, with “greater transparency, more interaction, more joy in every performance.”
The freedom here extends to revisiting early Bärtsch modules alongside new compositions including, for the first time on a Ronin record, a piece by Reedman Sha. Awase was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in France in October 2017 and was produced by Manfred Eicher.