Electric Bird Noise is Brian Lea McKenzie's home base, his refuge of psychedelic tonalities and fever dreams, skewed realities and paranoid familiarizations. In the Feel No Other duo with singer Claudia Gregory (here), he waxes grandiloquent in chamber sophistications, but Kind of Black is pure Forbidden Planet, stark, spooky, alien, and schizophrenically terrene all at once. This is not music to sip tea and hot toddies by but rather a dementia parade one cannot look away from. The ambiences are simple, uncrowded, mostly quietly nightmarish, and created entirely through guitar and pedals (or whatever the hell substitutes for pedals these days; laptops and such, I'm guessing).
In its own way, this is meditation music for those frustrated with the limits of reality, unable to bear another moment in Betty Crocker TV outfall and corporate branding, preferring pools of honesty for a change, even if they're more than a little jarring, somewhat offputting but inevitably compelling. Were Satie to have been a ketamine addict or conspiracy theorist, this is the sort of furniture music he would've composed, the exact opposite of his gnossienes and gymnopedies: that is to say, perfectly in alignment with their intent but from the warped side of the looking glass.
In fact, because another Silber Records release, Chvad SB's latest (here), is much in the same netherlands, I'd say listening to both is the best idea; not that they're identical, not at all, but because the intentions are the same…in noticeably different measures. You don't merely cock an ear but instead step into the landscaping just as you would in the darker savvier video games (think X-Box 360's Limbo with music accompanying the ominously forlorn breezes or perhaps sections of PS2's Hobbit, that sort of thing, but even more so). This sort of sonic smithery has, since the days of Sensations Fix and other highly arty progressive groups, been called 'sculpting in the air', and if you aren't entirely sure what that fully connotes, then Kind of Black will make you a convert. You only, in this particular case and more than a few others, need be willing to disturb yourself.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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