Avant-garde electronics from the man formerly known as Morphosis.
When we spoke to Rabih Beaini in 2011, he characterised his relationship with music as conducting research. "I'm always discovering new stuff," he said, "and I am happy because I've been DJing for 20 years and right now it's even more exciting, because the more I discover the more worlds that are opening up for me in really different places." You can sense this taste for discovery in Beaini's music as Morphosis. His idea has been to "free" his techno tracks, creating a framework and then letting loose with raw, improvised electronics. It was in this spirit that he recorded his excellent album for Delsin, What Have We Learned, alongside 12-inches for labels like Honest Jons, M>O>S Recordings and his own Morphine Records, the label that for the last ten years has been a platform for Beaini's roaming ear. Releases from artists like Hieroglyphic Being, Madteo, Container and Metasplice have aligned with Beaini's uncompromising attitude, and in 2013 he struck gold with a series of retrospective records that featured the work of Charles Cohen, an overlooked force in modular synthesis.
Beaini is using his RA podcast to announce the retirement of the name Morphosis, a decision he took in order to "step back to the real world, to what is surrounding me and inspiring me." RA.460 is a dense tapestry of styles and eras that's driven by Beaini's thirst for adventurous sounds.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been mostly focused a project on Morphine Records, and a series I am curating from different artists coming from different backgrounds. It starts this month with the first record by Senyawa, an Indonesian duo with a totally unique sound, followed by a newly recorded album by Charles Cohen, and other artists are in the process of delivering material. The series focuses on special skills of the performers, highlighting their historical path, their instruments, their heritage for the future. I've been also working on developing my own instruments and live performance.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded in January in Berlin, using turntables, echo pedal and then reworked on a computer-based sequencer for overdubs and manipulation of the tracks. For me it is connected to the way I mix records live, mixing several sources to recreate a solid sounding pattern. The general idea behind it is to give new meanings to the music I'm playing, a sort of a displacement and deconstruction of it, using pieces from traditional music, rhythms and voices, alongside new experimental and avant-garde pieces, that are already made with the same philosophy. My approach to the final output is to make it become a new structure that can tell a different story.
You told us that you've decided to stop using the name Morphosis. What led to this decision?
I noticed lately a much bigger focus on the Morphosis name rather than on the personal output itself. It somehow became a myth, I felt the necessity of lowering down the myth, a step back to the real world, to what is surrounding me and inspiring me. The sound output was becoming similar to what I do when I perform under my real name, which is also a reason why I felt no need to use it anymore, and I think it's just OK to perform and work as Rabih Beaini.
Tell us a little about the independent music scene in Lebanon right now. Do you perform there often?
Lebanon is experiencing nowadays a quite solid underground and experimental scene, sometimes connected to the art world, but also focused on the development of sound and the connection between the origins and the future. There are many great artists bringing the focus on this avant-garde approach, and I had the chance to perform several times in very special setups and in front of a greatly excited crowd.
What are you up to next?
Keep working on my research, expanding the view for as many inputs as I can take. This has always been my way to deal with music, and I hope this will continue for a long time.