Pierre Bastien ‎/ BLUE AS AN ORANGE


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French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien delivers the latest entry into Morphine’s increasingly diverse catalog.Active for over four decades, Bastien is best known for building automated orchestras, and his most recent LP, Machinations, was released on Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label in 2012. For this latest work, Bastien recycled components of his Silent Motors live set and assembled new mechanical organisms using amplified Meccano parts, motors, fans, rattles, paper, and nails to generate rhythmic scaffolding. Live instrumentals, from prepared trumpets to the 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 lanced with human warmth.

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As an installation artist, Bastien also captures shifting patterns of light and spatial texture in sound. The LP takes its name from Paul Eluard’s poem, “La terre est bleue,” and offers a fresh symbiosis of speculative anthropology and old-world jazz. Blue As An Orange follows from Pauline Oliveros and Ione’s Water Above, Sky Below Now LP on Morphine. It was produced by Rabih Beaini, mastered by Neel, and designed by Tankboys, with original cover art by Nathalie du Pasquier.

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