Apparently, this album is meant to be representative of bird song. I don’t know what kind of crazy fucking birds Christian Kann (the member of long-distance-collaboration-based musical project The Inhibitionists who wrote this album) has been hanging out with lately, but they certainly don’t sound anything like the ones in my garden. That said, the birds represented on here (including the Smew, the Red-Billed Oxpecker and – guffaw, nudge, wink, etc – the King Shag) aren’t as likely to be found fluttering round East Anglia as, for example, a sparrow.
Oh, and it would appear from a brief sampling by means of the Google search that they are, in fact, all real birds.
That’s the ornithology out the way. Now, what of the music? Well… it’s actually more noise than music – one of those deals where the musicians interpret the birdsong rather attempting to imitate it, and thus create a noise that isn’t particularly songlike. There’s a hell of a lot of static, of radio interference and tube-train howling. There’s some snatches of background music, a few violins, some operatic warbling and a really rather disconcerting section that sounds like gremlins scuttling about in the walls*. Chuck in some hissing steam, some bubbling test tubes, the odd car crash and some pan-pipes suffering from a bad case of wind, and you have…
Well, suffice it to say that if you buy this because you dig the idea of listening to something that actually sounds like birds, you’re going to be a tad disappointed: it’s a very, very liberal interpretation. Attempt to use this recording as a duck lure, and you’re more likely to end up netting the Creature from the Black Lagoon. However, if you’ve a taste for surreal, occasionally tuneful noise of the kind that appears soothing at first and then suddenly reclaims your attention by dropping in some really freaky or surprisingly pleasing effects, you might well enjoy this weird, incoherent, free associative and occasionally haunting album.
*Not, I hasten to add, that I hear gremlins scuttling about in walls on a regular basis. But if I did, that’s definitely what they’d sound like.