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It's a "Two-For-Tuesday"! On Wednesday! Here are two absolutely spellbinding albums by French composer Pierre Bastien, who, since childhood, has been fascinated with the idea of incorporating machines into music. His first experiment was with a spoon attached to a metronome striking a pan. Since then he has come far indeed, constructing Erector Set-like rockin' robots, and on his "Mecanoid" album, brilliantly incorporating (non-hip hop) turntablism. Over the repetitious rhythms of his machines he often blows cool Miles-like jazz horn. The results, on his "Musiques Machinales" album, range from the Steve Reich-like minimalism of "Chez Les Crânes" to "Marchin' Band," reminiscent of "Rain Dogs"-era Tom Waits. Scratchy fiddle and, on at least one song, what sounds like a musical saw also feature in his cabinet of curiosities. Like Frank Pahl and his Scavenger Quartet (whose "We Who Live On Land" album I recently posted in it's entirety) gorgeous melodies such as the one on "Vipers" from "Musiques Machinales" sell these obtuse ideas. Magical.
PIERRE BASTIEN "Musiques Machinales"
PIERRE BASTIEN "Mecanoid"