The promo sticker informs us that Electric Bird Noise's The Silber Sessions should be placed in with Brian Eno, Aarktika, Lycia, and Popul Vuh, and I can't argue with that, though I'd include Durutti Column, Moebius, Aphex Twin, and an ambientalized Ennio Morricone alongside. The initial two cuts are glitched truncations before Proti Village-Meteroa-Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Onward! (Too) roll through the speakers, exercises in hopped-up pastorality and obliquely skewed landscapes. Six Ligertilys for Elena then interjects mellowed-out surf music from the shores of Venus, elegant but not archaic, more the rescue of times past looking to find themselves re-awakened to the memory of transgalactic meanderings.
More than once, the listener is going to think about art-house movies in a Lynchian vein or of a West Coast Pleasantville discovering opium and mescaline. 'Hypnotic' would not be too strong a term for Brian's Theme with its tranquilized vitality, one of the Popul Vuh cuts married to SFF and a relaxed Mike Oldfield. In Moments like Last Night make Me Wanna Believe in Ghosts, the CD contains an element of cerebral B-52s cut with moodily depressive Devo and a mid-section that's clever as hell, seeming to be a skip-hold in your player's laser reading, but actually, when you listen closely, a segment a la Steve Reich and his 18 Musicians phasing.
Brian Lea McKenzie (instruments, objects, loop machines, etc.) is the key figure here, and he's been doing his homework, even to the degree of catching odd tangs of Perry Kingsley and the elder electronic experimenteers and odd-pop composers. Silber Sessions is eccentric and futurist, not to mention surreal, but quite approachable if you've sufficient erudition to understand the wealth of styles, modes, and genres being blenderized, resulting in sometimes psycho-emotionally chilling (Cubism) and even intelligent camp modified through a hookah shared with a stoned Wendy Carlos. Oddly, the CD is a compilation of cuts gathered over a 10 year period from various anthology and live appearances, but it sure as hell hangs together like a segmented concept cycle planned for months before entering a studio.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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