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 Jarasum Korea

Nik Bartsch Ronin in Dehli/ India Set 1

Nik Bartsch Ronin in Dehli/ India Set 2

photo copyright Martin Möll