Anemic Cinema (named after the eponymous short film by dadaist Marcel Duchamp), is an instrumental quartet led by Ghent-based guitarist/composer Artan Buleshkaj. The band features (besides Buleshkaj on baritone guitar) some of Belgium’s most adventurous young improvisers: Rob Banken (alto saxophone, clarinet), Steven Delannoye (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet) and Matthias de Waele (drums).
Combining jagged sonorities and riff-based passages from heavy metal (bands like Tyft, Zeus!, Meshuggah, … come to mind), metric structures and (freely) improvised sections inspired by (avant-)jazz, and harmonies reminiscent of modern classical composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Anton Webern, … the band creates an eerie atmosphere featuring intensely nervous and volatile passages that coexist with moments of disquieting reverie, combating monotony but also amplifying both ends of the musical spectrum.
The omission of a conventional bass instrument allows other instruments to assume this role (or not). This creates certain compositional/improvisational challenges which in turn bear new, exciting avenues of musical conception with ample room for freedom within clearly marked boundaries. This all results in a listening experience equal parts visceral, hard-hitting and unpredictable.
In april of 2021 the band released its first EP on el NEGOCITO Records. The EP was amply praised in both printed and online press:
“…Anemic Cinema bashes your head in with a mix of metal and free improvisation and then proceeds to heal you with a solemn counterpoint between horns and guitar…” – Bart Cornand (Knack)
“Amazing to hear how much is happening in every composition, and how the musicians seem to freely and effortlessly move in between written structures. Anemic Cinema rules!” – Dick Hovenga (Written in Music)
“A powerful, genre-defying record.” – Jordi de Beule (Jazz&Mo)
“Energy, improvisation and instrumental virtuosity. A firm first statement from musicians that have yet to unleash their full potential.” – Björn Comhaire (Luminous Dash)
Artan Buleshkaj – baritone guitar Rob Banken – alto saxophone, clarinet Steven Delannoye – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet Matthias De Waele – drums