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A tresor to dance?

A masterpiece of tropical house music created in Switzerland by Numa. Used a old bank tresor, a modern art dancer and videographer Jaymotion.

Some people have placed their musical going public exactly at the beginning of the Corona pandemic, March 2020. Of course, nobody could have known that at the time, as if it were the beginning. It didn’t look like an almost one and a half year forced break for rock, pop, hip hop or dance music. Many a new release has come out since that blasted early spring of a year ago and, alas, has gone completely under: Because the focus was on other things than new music, and because for many bands, musicians, labels and agencies neither live presentations nor other promotional activities were possible. Many things went down and never appeared again. Not so “Always You” by Numa.

Image of a old bank tresor in Basel
Bank Tresor and Film Location

With his first track he found his new fanbase even across the Atlantic. The light-footed deep house track, which the then 19-year-old Basel native sent on its way via Spotify, quickly reached 10,000 plays without much promotion or massive airplay. “I remember well that a year ago I was totally happy to have already reached 10,000 people,” says Numa aka Manuel today.In the meantime, the track’s account balance stands at just under 286,000 plays, with most fans plugging in their headphones in Mexico, Colombia and Chile (6,500 monthly listeners* on Spotify). In Switzerland or the Basel area, very few electronic music listeners know him. But this is not about “Always You”, but about the music video for the track “Impressions” from the debut album of the same name. Numa’s debut album was released digitally in April 2021, when it was hailing sub-zero temperatures at night and thick clouds and a cold breeze were whistling and stinging raindrops across the country during the day. In contrast, Numa’s track knocks on the rainy window pane with a light-handed piano and percussion figure before Tanja Alison’s vocals pick us up and, together with young ballet dancer Giovanna Doria, take us past the rock’n’roll wall-of-fame of L’Unique Bar in Basel’s Gerbergässlein to the safe in the middle.

The space, with its ornate floor tiles and swanky, metal bank lockers, is popular for video shoots and other promotions, so it may already be a bit out there. But the fluid and highly aesthetic moves of this all-white dancer quickly make you forget that.The way Giovanna Doria dances her youthful insouciance around the ears of the luxury stink of the discreet hoard of old Basel money also pleased Theater Basel’s ballet director Richard Wherlock extraordinarily: “Super duper keep up the great work,” the ballet director and choreographer posted to his student’s Instagram channel.We say, “Totally agree.”

Starting Up!

Not (yet) part of the Basel club scene. Back to the originator of the music. Numa has played live or as a DJ only rarely, once this spring 2021 in Mexico, otherwise only at private parties of friends or acquaintances (if Corona allowed it). Numa’s club non-experience has of course to do with the pandemic, but also with the fact that he “hasn’t had that much to do with the Basel club scene yet”, as Manuel aka Numa himself says.From March 2020 until today, i.e. for 15 months, the club scene was almost completely non-existent anyway because of Corona. And actually Numa had produced the five years before also only for himself, by means of software on the MacBook and not at all thought of public releases. Until a friend motivated and supported him. Fortunately, we think. It’s not just the high play numbers on Spotify that make Numa happy. “What makes me most happy is when I see how people react to my music,” says the 20-year-old Basel-based musician and producer. People have also written to him saying that his music has accompanied them through very difficult phases of life.” From the recorder to the drums to the electronic beats, Numa’s music has a fine gesture.
Numa’s music has a fine feeling for feelings and their vibrations. The piano melody in the intro to “Impressions,” for example, is inspired by an ancient CD from Numa’s mother’s piano lessons, he says. Mother’s piano teacher, Numa says, was also his recorder teacher and is now over 100 years old. From the recorder, however, Numa’s interest quickly moved to the drums, which he played for about ten years. There, he says, he learned a lot for his sense of rhythm and the structure of (electronic) music. And implemented.

Weightless into the wide summer. Besides his colleague Tanja Alison (vocals), dancer Giovanna Doria and himself, Numa’s colleague Julian aka Jaymotion is also part of the “Impressions” project, which we have chosen here with some delay as video of the week, because this music and these aesthetically fresh dance moves can accompany us mentally from the barren, clammy spring (which still appears later in the video clip) into the weightless, wide summer – if we want to.
By the way, after “Impressions” in April, Numa already released a new, more Afro/Latin-oriented track called “Mona Lisa” with Zimbabwean musician Amvis a few days ago. Just as light-footed as “Impressions”, but even more light-hearted and even more motivating for any body movements.Finally, after the private even the public dance floor could be open again a crack after the long period of Corona foot shackles in July and August. The Tension Festival in Basel at the end of July / beginning of August has confirmed this year’s edition.but now finally curtain up for the music video “Impressions”. Have fun!