BIRD SHOW BAND: Bird Show Band (Amish Records)


Posted on Mar 19th 2010 12:53 am

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Bird Show Band: Bird Show Band

Bird Show Band
Amish Records 2010
07 Tracks. 36mins17secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

For over ten years, Brooklyn-based Ben Vida has been spotted in a variety of bands (Town & Country, Singer, Pillow), and has, with his solo project, Bird Show, released three albums for Kranky, the most recent one, published in 2008, seeing him collaborate with Greg Davis, Robert AA Lowe, Michael Zerang and brother Adam. For his latest incarnation, he is joined by bass player Josh Abrams, drummers John Herndon and Dan Bitney and Jim Baker on vintage ARP 2600. Operating at the confine of experimental improvised jazz, avant-rock and noise, Bird Show Band continuously build on a convincing mix of organic energy and outwardly sonic explorations to create a refined collection of experimental pieces.

Recorded over a two day session in Chicago in 2008, BSB is at once angular and vibrant, and progresses through a series of seismic pulses which are at times reminiscent of Supersilent. Propelled by a pretty relentless rhythm section, Vida, on Moog Voyager, and Baker splatter generous dollops of dense electronic textures throughout, at times developing complex themes and working them into the groove on Quintet One or Quartet, or against it, in the first half of Quintet Two, and at others breaking them down into tiny noise particles. At one point on Quintet Two, the pair withdraw entirely for a moment to let Abrams cast a hypnotic bass loop onto an intricate drum pattern, and when they charge back, one after the other, it is with a very different perspective, reaching for more melodic sections and bringing their contributions back into the beat.

Things take a quieter turn with Quintet Three as the band adopt a gentler pace, almost bringing the track to a complete stop half way through. Here, there are echoes of sixties sci-fi as the electronics become more abstract, and while Quintet Four pick up pace a tad, the retro futuristic slant is carried over somehow and blended with some of the most melodic moments on here. Occasionally, Vida steps out alone, crafting a loose minimal melody on Little Song or dissolving another into random spurts and squelches on BSB Synthesizer Solo. While these two pieces lack the momentum carried by the band, they are refreshingly simple and in sharp contrast with the rest of the record.

With this album, Vida set out to confront his sound with open improvisation. His choice of collaborators gave him the scope to explore these new surrounding with confidence. The result is a particularly fine record, fuelled with visceral energy and inquisitive spirit yet kept in check to remain a thoroughly enjoyable experience all the way through. And at just over thirty five minutes, this is a record that leaves the listener wanting more.


Amish Records
Amazon UK: DLD US: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

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One Response to “BIRD SHOW BAND: Bird Show Band (Amish Records)”

  1. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 19 Dec 2010 at 8:52 pm

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