Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  Electric Birds  
  Mille Plateaux  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

It amazes me how fast some ideas spread through the music community. Take, for example, the idea of recording a tune, then destroying it with a laptop into a senseless, almost rhythmless mess of fuzz and popping sounds. DNtel did this on his amazingly over-rated Life is Full of Possibilities, and i am apalled to discover that it has influenced Electric Birds. My god people -- just let some ideas die!

Well, i am over-reacting a little here, as only one song on this album (Vox Cannon) sounds as if it has been given the full DNtel treatment. But still -- that's one song too many! And the fact that Vox Cannon could have fit right in on Life is Full of Possibilities leads me to question the originality of this album.

Basically, Electric Birds is the project of Mike Martinez, who runs his own label, Deluxe Records. He is a West Coast musician, and apparently has released a few albums. This one, however, is, well, generic. Gradations takes elements from many other albums that you have heard, twists them a little (very slightly), and then repeats them. So Vox Cannon sounds like DNTel. And the title track itself sounds like something by Jetone. A lot of the rest of this is "by the numbers" IDM. I guess that, when you get down to it, there is only so much that you can do with whatever that application is that all the laptop artists use. (I am not up on Mac software, so i don't know what they are using. But apparently, everybody uses the same thing.)

So i am, fundamentally, disappointed by this album. With one exception: Painted Rooms features Martinez playing acousting guitar. This is fed into his laptop and then given the IDM deconstruct n paste job and eventually a beat comes in to drown out the guitar. This is a nice song, and actually sounds fresh to me.

Unlike the rest of Gradations, which sounds generic.

Related Links:

None available.


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.