The Lebanese-born musician and producer Rabih Beaini has operated his label Morphine Records since 2005. Initially, along with his own productions under the pseudonym Morphosis – among them the 2011 album What Have We Learned, which extends the limits of techno with improvisations – the label mainly featured recordings from the border regions of electronic club music. In 2013, the label’s scope widened considerably, when three LPs with compositions by Charles Cohen appeared.
In 1971, Cohen began to experiment with the Buchla Music Easel – a rare analog synthesizer built by Don Buchla whose functioning differs from the dominant Moog instruments. Influenced by Sun Ra and the Free Jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, Charles Cohen subsequently composed music for dance and theater, which was published several decades later by Morphine. After another retrospective in 2014, the first solo album since 1988 – Brother I Prove You Wrong – is being released by Morphine in May. At the House of Electronic Arts, Cohen performs solo as well as with Rabih Beaini, who also performs at a solo concert.
The album Menjadi, featuring the Indonesian duo Senyawa, also is being released this spring. In the concert, vocalist Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi, who accompanies him on a self-made bamboo instrument, guarantee their listeners an extraordinary experience. The voice experiments and the captivating, sometimes theatrical, performance of Suryadi’s “bambuwukir,” with its extremely broad sound spectrum, create an affective intensity that has a mesmerizing effect on the audience.
The final guest this evening is the musician and composer Pierre Bastien, whose mechanical machines make music similar to an orchestra of acoustic instruments. Since the 1970s, Bastien has constantly expanded and updated his experiments using sound installations, solo performances and recordings (released by Rephlex, among others).
- Senyawa, Courtesy of House of Electronic Arts Basel