Friday, June 29, 2007

Birds of Delay/Dreamcatcher


The fourth installment goes foreign with the UK’s Birds of Delay and Dreamcatcher from the Montreal area. Birds of Delay takes Side A with a track called “Sun Pillars 2”. Now I don’t know what happened to the first of the Sun Pillars but this track sounds pretty alright. I am not super acquainted with the Birds’ work but from what I have heard some is pretty noisy while other stuff is pretty placid. “Sun Pillars 2” seems to fall between to the two; there is nasty bit of filtered feedback that crawls through the track but there is a real warbly, watery not-quite-new-age keyboard that is persistent in the mix, giving the track a nice off kilter rhythm. The track teeters in and out of stasis through its 6ish minutes. It sounds as though someone is actually holding the keys cause occasionally there is a fracture where the keyboard drops out or some other keys are hit before returning to the homebase keyboard chord. I might be wrong though, it could easily be a loop and the occasional breaks are just someone manipulating the loop. It doesn’t really matter either way I suppose, but I kinda like the idea of the guy standing there playing the keyboard live. All together, the track is pretty good and has been growing on me more with each listen, although I wouldn’t call it a mindblower.
Next up to bat is Dreamcatcher with “A Team Come True”, again, like Birds of Delay, I have heard some of duo’s output though probably not the majority. About half of the Dreamcatcher stuff I’ve heard completely rules and I’d say it sounds somewhat like early Yellow Swans but way more into ghettobeats. Some of their other stuff not so ruled, though I can’t really remember why (which is probably my fault). Enough about history, lets get on to the future (cause haven’t you heard? Not Not Fun is the future). “A Team Come True” starts up with a little fuzzbot bee-boo-boppery before it coalesces into a steady rhythm. The track snowballs from there, piling on more furious beats and some demented shrieks and howls. The duo do a good job keeping the beat constantly moving forward yet diversifying the drum patterns so things don’t get monotonous. Soon enough, everything drops out and a sample of some European (?) folk song pops up and then a pounding synthed up bass drum drives the track home. I dig this track though it could probably benefit from a bit more samples or others sorts of tones to augment the rhythm section. It’s a solid outing by DC and I’m eager to hear more of what they got in store.
Highly regarded Belgian artist Jelle Crama did the art for this release and I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed cause he’s done some cool work (czech out the Egyptian Conscription tape by Treetops) but the front cover of this comes off to me as a little weak. Now, I’m no art scholar and I don’t fully understand all (or any of) the intricate tenets of minimalism but it looks like Jelle opened up Microsoft Paint and three minutes later he had a cover. I enjoyed the back cover with the weird blob man and bright colors quite a bit though. Anyway, just one man’s opinion.

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