Pierre Bastien & Michel Banabila

Baba Soirée

Pingipung • 2023

Two old masters at the machines, they (the machines) purr like Afro-Polynesian kittens. Tribal ambient sound guru Michel Banabila and the man with the mechanical orchestra, Pierre Bastian, together on one record— that alone is something in itself. And »Baba Soirée« is anything but a gimmick album, and certainly not just a lap of honour thought up by some booking agent. The two guys from Rotterdam have really put their heads together here, and have composed and harmonised audibly. It’s also an almost logical interplay. On the one hand, both have always shared a fascination for strange sounds from beyond, and for traditional instruments from very different cultures. On the other, their methods complement each other perfectly: On »Baba Soirée«, Bastian’s repetitive primordial music and Banabila’s wholly brittle dripping combine to form a vibrant structure. Something is moving in every corner of this sound, metal balls roll into the endless nonsense machine, larvae hatch, scrap dealers fly through the air on the wings of dragonflies. The interplay of the mechanical and amorphous is what fascinates. Something is constantly growing out of the pre-programmed. Cornet and gimbri (or similar) give the snippets of music extra width. Through and through, »Baba Soirée« is the work of two sound artists who, fortunately, no longer have to prove anything to anyone.