Pierre Bastien; Blue As An OrangeMorphine
DOSER 028 LP
Long Playing Record
French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien delivers another entry in Morphine's increasingly diverse catalog. Active since the mid-'70s, Bastien is best known for building automated orchestras. His previous album, Machinations, was released on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label in 2012 (REPH 215CD).
For this work, Bastien recycled components of his Silent Motors live set and assembled mechanical organisms -- using amplified Meccano parts, motors, fans, rattles, paper, and nails -- to generate rhythmic scaffolding. Live instrumentals, created with prepared trumpets, African kundi harp, Javanese rabab, sanza, electric harpsichord, bass, drums, and gongs, were then superimposed on top. But for all their haptic mechanics, the assembled works on Blue As An Orange -- spanning jungled ambience to yellow jazz grooves -- are surprisingly delicate and nuanced, and generously laced with human warmth.
As an installation artist, Bastien also captures shifting patterns of light and spatial texture in sound. This LP takes its name from Paul Éluard's poem "La terre est bleue," and offers a fresh symbiosis of speculative anthropology and old-world jazz. Produced by Rabih Beaini; mastered by Neel; designed by Tankboys; original cover art by Nathalie du Pasquier.