"Watch Me From Space" - Jamming in isolation with Wareika
- Published on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 21:30
For the past 6 years – catching up with the musically gifted trio Wareika has somehow become a tradition here at Meoko and we absolutely love it. This time we are thrilled to premiere this exclusive Live Jam coming straight from Henrik’s studio in Bingen / Rhein (near Frankfurt). Henrik is one of these artists who channels his emotions through music – in his own words “music comes first and foremost from the heart”. After experimenting with hundreds of different devices and their possible combinations Henrik has even built his own custom-made instruments as he couldn’t find what he needed “out on the market”. Such is his artistic genius!
Since school time he and Jakob have been inseparable, creating music together for two decades now. It was however on a warm mid-summer afternoon in 2008 when Jakob, Florian and Henrik met, “just to play a bit around” and through that session Wareika was born. Forming a new sound by the clever use of elements from Techno, House, Jazz and Classical music, they simply felt the need in experimenting with polyrhythm arrangements and developed their very own signature sound.
In this video, Henrik captures the emotion of an Indian Raga (Raga Yaman) and transported it into music that does not sound Indian at all. “I tried to express this emotion without using any typical Indian sounds, to avoid this cliché. Yaman is one of my favourite Indian Ragas, it always evokes in me the feeling of longing for something yet unreachable or yearning for a better life. I feel this emotion very strongly in our world right now, so I tried to express it in music” he explained.
Technically speaking, he continued – “I simply programmed a drone on a Synthesizer with “hold” function to create a background layer of sound, as the tanpura does in Indian Classical music. Then I recorded some congas with a mic and some electronic drums and made loops, then programmed a bass line and additional drones. The bass sound is my beloved “non-vca patch” which sounds especially warm and round. I routed everything to my mixing desk’s channels to be able to arrange on the fly and according to emotion rather than thought (would need a few more arms here, hehe) while playing the guitar. I improvised melodies on the Guitar, using an A Minor Pentatonic scale ascending, and a B Flat Lydian scale descending, which leads to typical phrases of Raga Yaman. In Indian music almost every note is approached with various slides, vibratos and other ornaments, which I avoided, to not sound very oriental in this case. Instead, I tried to embellish the melodies with a more jazz-like approach, with little chords and licks here and there”.
Yaman emerged from the parent musical scale of Kalyan. It is considered to be one of the grandest and most fundamental ragas in Hindustani music and is often one of the first ragas taught to students – but it also has great scope for improvisation. This is an example of the diversity Wareika possess. The club rutted trio is a talented bunch and continues to impress dance floors worldwide.
credits: Photophunk (Wareika at Funkhaus / 01.04.2016)
In recent months Wareika announced the launch of their own record label Wareika Music with a 45-minute track "Tizinabi" put out as a free download on SoundCloud so keep an eye as some really exciting stuff will be released via their own imprint soon! Happy listening!
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Words by Denny Kem