Not Not Fun Titles (cassettes)
Les Halles - Zephyr
"The welcome and wondrous return of Lyon musician Baptiste Martin’s aerial ambient identity Les Halles, following a year’s sabbatical from recording, Zephyr takes its name from a light westerly wind, which aptly evokes the warm, weightless, whispering spirit of these beguiling electro-acoustic designs. Working entirely with a computer for the first time, Martin’s sample bank swelled in both depth and detail, giving his compositions a crisper focus and finer grain. Slovakian fujara flutes shudder and shimmer, offset with rippling PVC panpipes, chimes, and gentle webs of delay.
The tracks are titled according to their sample source, designated with one of three words that are same in French and English: horizon, mirage, and distance. Martin speaks of these pieces as conjuring “landscapes with almost no human traces,” and his criterion for completion is simple: “When I feel like I’m losing the perception of time while listening.” Nine new divinations by one of today’s most attuned waking dreamers."
Les Halles - Transient
"French exoticist Baptiste Martin has been crafting fragile pastures of pan flute, field recordings, and stargazing keys as Les Halles since 2012, inspired by a formatively nostalgic night alone “watching the summer sky, thinking of all the mystery.” Previous collections on Constellation Tatsu and Noumenal Loom showcased the nuance of his signature Incan drift mode but Transient further hones his heightened passage into escapist beauty and Tascam grain. The album’s eight pieces are constructed from Amerindian flute samples diffused through lilting echo and streaked with soft-focus textures. As always with Les Halles, there is a mesmerizing mood of natural space and weightlessness – the breath of sky, clouds smeared by breeze, inner islands of peace. Few current crouched pedal-pushers channel ambient dimensions with such poise and blurry grace. Out of time meditations for a newer new age."
Magnétophonique - Une Cartographie Ideale
"In 2011 Charles Belpois and Baptiste Martin became roommates in Dijon, France and began making music, both together and alone. The solo projects they birthed – Magnétophonique and Les Halles, respectively – share a similarly introspective mood, vignettes of emotive, smeared ambience conjured from private communions with tape hiss, loop stations, and bleached keys. The label they founded, Carpi, issued many of their early recordings (typically in editions of less than 50) but ceased operations in 2015, with Belpois’ last release coming out on defunct Mexican imprint Dept Tapes the year before.
Une Cartographie Idéale collects 12 gems from the Magnétophonique catalog to map a nuanced portrait of his evocative mirage exotica, wavering between bliss and abandonment, paradise and prison. Isolation and island fantasy intermingle in bewitching delirium, the sound of waves and tropical birds refracted through heat-stroked haze while melting cassettes unspool refracted melodies into lost horizons. Escape is heaven – until it isn’t; in the artist’s words: “You’ll never belong here.”"