Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin (4tet-electric)


“Bärtsch’s mysterious music will be around for a lot longer than the quick fix that majority taste seems to clamour for.” Stuart Nicholson, The Observer (UK)

“There are two paths a samurai can walk: that of a clan member, and that of a ronin, a lonely warrior. Ronin are free to cognise the world, free to discover and fulfil the true purpose of man.”
[Translated from: Thomas Preston, Samurai-Geist – Der Weg eines Kriegers in den japanischen Kampfkünsten, Leimen/Heidelberg 1991]


Nik Bärtschs own trademark sound, the RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC, points out to the fundamental concept of his musical thinking. The music shows a close affinity to architecturally organized space and is governed by the principles of repetition and reduction as well as by interlocking rhythms. A piece of music can be entered, inhabited like a room. It moves forward and transforms through obsessive circular movements, superimposition of different meters and micro-interplay. The listeners attention is directed toward minimal variations and phrasing.

The band Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin becomes an integral organism – like an animal, a habitat, an urban space. One must think with ears and hands.


Nik Bärtsch piano, Fender Rhodes, composition
Sha altosax, bass clarinet
Kaspar Rast drums
Thomy Jordi bass



Nik Bartsch Ronin in Dehli/ India Set 1

Nik Bartsch Ronin in Dehli/ India Set 2

photo copyright Martin Möll