CD Birds [Collections of Colonies of Bees] (CD 1157993),
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Birds [Collections of Colonies of Bees]

  • 1. Flocks I
    2. Flocks II
    3. Flocks III
    4. Flocks IV
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 11810

  • Credits
    EngineerChris Rosenau; Thomas Wincek; Jim Schoenecker

    Personnel: Thomas Wincek (guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, electronics); Dan Spack (guitar).
    Liner Note Author: Jeff Hunt.
    Recording information: A Women's Locker Room (06/17/2007-08/08/2007); Jon's Basement (06/17/2007-08/08/2007).
    Out of the ashes of Pele, this instrumental four-piece further refines that outfit's complex, mathy post-rock workouts. As far as the math goes, it's simple arithmetic, not advanced algebra, as most of the material is accessible and acoustic-based, with a modicum of slice 'n' dice post-recording techniques to add spice. Whereas the oblique qualities of the previous release, Customer, had the band sounding like a dead ringer for arty Chicagoans Gastr del Sol, whose leader Jim O'Rourke reassembled his band's instrumentals while mixing recordings, often into unrecognizable forms, Birds finds Collections of Colonies of Bees coming into their own with a mellifluous, organic sound, closer to those other arty Chicagoans Directions in Music's rolling woodsy pastorals. Consisting of four songs or suites simply titled "Flocks I" through "Flocks IV," Birds still has a penchant for disassembling itself, with seemingly disparate elements of guitar, keys, samples, and found sounds/musique concrte scattered across the channels but uniting to form a cohesive whole when the drums come in. And when a beat appears it's usually a straightforward 4/4 (at one point rendered on cowbell!), perhaps to illustrate how deceptively simple these exercises actually are. At some points, particularly on the triumphant finale of "Flocks III," the band finds its way into Reichian phasing through mantra-like repetition, resulting in a hypnotic haze that also contains an element of the post-rock tendency toward cathartic dynamics. What sounds like overly intellectualized compositions becoming unglued are in reality a collection of songs evolved by a collective of impossibly intuitive and symbiotic musicians creating a new instrumental language for the 21st century. ~ Brian Way

  • Critic Reviews
    Pitchfork (Website) - "Organic and intricate as their compositions can be, the Bees clearly appreciate the emotional power of simple, thoughtfully tiered rhythms..."
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