Amberoom is a project comprised of Manuel Tur, Adrian Hoffmann and Ramin Nouyan. The threesome produce Balearic music that isn’t afraid to draw outside the lines.What’s enthralling about it is the way the trio unravel their ideas in an unhurried manner.
I hadn’t been here for a long time. It had been at least two to three years since I last visited Baden. I usually just say “Baden” because the duplication “Baden-Baden” sounds too ridiculous. The fact that this to the most extent rather proud little community let themselves be driven into corrupting their name just in order to distinguish themselves from another place with the same name remains a major secret to me.
I was never really interested in the festivals, their noblesse had always seemed rather superficial and dull to me. It’s the casino I visit each time I come to the city. Its atmosphere intrigues me, though I’ve never let myself be lured into gambling.
I did not spot him right away; the casino’s Florentinersaal, with its pompous chandeliers, the carpet designs, murals, statues and portals that seem to bulge from every wall are far too confusing, still, it’s my favourite room. Moreover, all tables were taken.
He had found his place a little off the buzz next to a bare breasted figurine carrying a chandelier. Maybe I did not notice him right away, because I’d have never expected him in this city, in these surroundings. As long as I knew him, we’d always meet in the same locations, clubs mostly, in different cities of the planet, yet in my mind they all merge into one single venue.
He was standing there, leaning against a column, wearing a middle grey suit that seemed casually expensive, holding a Mojito in his hand, or so I thought. In fact, it was a fresh peppermint tea, as I was to find out a little later.
Even though I hadn’t seen Ramin Nouyan for quite a while, and considering the fact that our meeting was a total surprise, we greeted each other with a pointed reserve, as was usual between us. Yet, for outsiders it must have seemed as if we met like this every evening at the same time. He kept his position leaning nonchalantly against the column as he held out his hand in greeting. After briefly meeting my eye he continued scanning the room not focussing on anything in particular. However, he was not aimlessly gazing but scrutinized the room in a continuously concentrated fashion.
Suddenly he opened the conversation: “Good, we’re meeting.” I nodded imperceptibly, waiting for what came next. “I’ll tell you something”, he continued, poking my sternum with his index finger. Again he paused, but I knew I was not expected to reply.
“In the course of the years I lost what it’s really all about, what is important to me. You know, I always did something; I was always out and about. I believe, all that was right: the gigs, the people who came together through this work. All that was right”! He continued sipping his tea. A woman at a roulette table was shrieking excitedly.
“But”, Ramin said, “all that distracted me. It let me forget that I actually had a message – my music had a message.”
He noticed that I was about to say something and sent me this look from the corner of his eye that made me swallow my thought.
“I have to return to the beginnings”, he went on, “I have to be an artist, do my own thing, my own music”. The last sentence was said rather a bit too emotionally, which didn’t surprise me. I knew this tone he used in order to create suspense.
“It’s called ‘Amberoom’ ”. He held on to the sound as if he was evaluating how the name lingered in the room. “It’s a band”. “A band”?, I blurted out. “Yeah, that’s how we perceive ourselves, as a band”. I must have looked slightly at loss, because Ramin promptly added:” The music is electronic, of course, yet composed by musicians who play together, who create something together”.
“I can’t imagine how that’d work”, I said, expressing my strong doubts.
“Right”, Ramin said, pulling out a set of head phones from his bag, holding them out for me. “Listen to this”!
“Alright”, I said, after listening to the tracks for a while with growing excitement, “now I see what you mean. It sounds so natural. It’s unique, yet relaxed. And this is electronic music, no doubt”!
“Very well”, Ramin said, pushing the head phones back into his bag then sending his gaze out of the window again. “I think it’s time”. “What are you doing here in Baden, anyway”? I asked. He put his tea glass to the side, turned towards me and said:” You see, I had this suit made for me a couple of weeks ago and thought to myself that this would be the right place to sport it for the first time”. Saying this he stretched ever so slightly to display the cut that was well balanced between elegance and casualness. “I’m going home now.”
Primož Kamnik: “Europäische Notizen” 17/3