Album Review

Bastien, Pierre – “Machinations” – [Rephlex]

Thurston Hunger   2/28/2013   A Library, CD

The triumphant return of the king of “Rube Goldbeat!”
Bastien constructs his own instruments/devices that have
simple motors driving everyday items to build pop/techno
from the tech up on up! The “percussion” on “Peep” comes
from scissors gnashing! Several devices will collaborate
so the sound while repetitive doesn’t feel innundatingly
redundant. As an inventor and composer Bastien’s got a
deft never heavy hand, and lithe fingers! Plus a warped
record collection to match his warped mind, an old blues
belle sample haunts “Now On.” He does a cool trick at
times where the tonearm is lifted and reset by his
gears and shafts. Perhaps it’s the mechanized chord
patterns echoing a calliope, or the sort of happy
big-top melodies he taps into, but there’s a bit of a
circus sound to these tracks. Some of the rubber band,
or paperclip flipping sounds add a light comedic effect
too, but the sounds are all so crisp and clean, no
clowns with needle marks here. Bastien adds in sweet
muted trumpet on tracks, at times delivering bachelor
pad music for primitive robots. DVD for the Eye,
palindrome titles for the brain and plenty for the
ears. Tinker tailored techno of fine calibre.
Stands fine on tone alone but if you want to watch what
you listen to, check

These are different than the songs on the album, but it seems they
are sonic sources for the album. Inspirational stuff Pierre!

-Thurston Hunger

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