Marionette - Record Label

“Tinkle Twang ‘n Tootle feels of another time that you can’t really put your thumb on, maybe it’s from vintage Italian cinema, or perhaps something with the essence of the Congo (?) – though more like a hybrid of these things. As Bastien tinkers away these subdued rhythms are full of occasional effects that ring out like someone working in a metalsmith’s shop of some sort (Tenet), but instead of creating obtuse random sounds, these noises seem in tune with his themes.”

“Each track is a fresh microcosm eating away at your stress-filled cul-de-sacs, as Bastien’s imagination burns up on the blues-like tapers of “May Yam / Wedded Dew”, percussively weaseling the wind-up clank of plastic teeth. Malian-like vibes dribbling into a lovely ambient backwash of pan-piped church organ as the close mic(ed) brush of spindling arms curves out on this underwater bubble gun of ragtime melody, spookily reminiscent of “Élisa” off Jane Birkin’s Arabesque.”

“Eccentric french instrument builder Pierre Bastien fondles his melodic machines in a jazzy way on ‘Tinkle Twang ’n Tootle’ for exploratory label, Marionette.”

Honest Jon’s
“Recordings of his wondrous sound sculptures — precariously bridging Jean Tinguely and Raymond Roussel — in which meccano marionettes play underwater trumpets and belt-driven fans flutter sheets of paper across the strings of a kundi harp. Lovely, magical stuff.”


“The music of French composer Pierre Bastien is made primarily with instruments he invents himself, and the resulting sound feels wholly invented too. Particularly fascinating are his “meccano marionettes,” machines he invented in the mid ‘80s that formed an orchestra called Mecanium. On his new album, the self-descriptively titled Tinkle Twang ‘n Tootle, he unleashes these homemade robots, as well as other unconventional tools, to craft wobbly, joyously unhinged loops. At points he evokes Raymond Scott’s cartoonish electronic experiments racheted into a crazier gear, but Bastien also keeps every track grounded in a stable rhythm, crafting paradoxically head-nodding, skull-drilling tunes.”