Electric Birds, Gradiations

Mille Plateaux
Released: June 2002


     This is a fun CD, a blend of lighthearted atmospherics and choppy noise. It's a Mille Plateaux release, but it doesn't sound like one. You could say it sounds a bit like Two Lone Swordsmen crossed with Telefon Tel Aviv and Spongebob Squarepants, but that's a rather simplistic reduction. To be honest, I enjoy this disk too much to write a traditional, boring review. Instead, here are some images that came to my mind as I listened to the disk. Hope you enjoy them.
     "Cyclist": A stumbling, wobbly bicycle propelled along a raisin-colored corridor by a tiny, insignificant sea slug. Where is the slug going on this strange bicycle, along this strange corridor? Who can say with any certainty? But the destination will, without question, involve plastic flowers, spray paint, glitter, and a mariachi band.
     "Nightriders": Imagine a world of bear claws. Everything you touch is warm, squishy, somewhat sticky, and filled with nuts. Now imagine a giant mouth slowly chewing up this world. You get stuck in the onslaught and end up inside a gigantic stomach, surrounded by gurgling, digestive noises. It takes a while, but eventually you, too, become one of these noises.
     "Painted Rooms": I'm stuck in a Kansas video that's been eaten up, digested, and expelled by a mutant, alien tapeworm.
     "Slow Motion": Somehow, I walk from my kitchen into an alternate universe kitchen. In this universe, there are no refrigerators, toasters, milk, cheese, or microwave ovens, just an atomic frying pan, some cookie dough, and a bucket of nails. During my adventures in this alternate kitchen, I fight atomic monsters, rescue strange, beautiful maidens, and learn one important lesson: there's nothing tastier than atomic cookie nails.
      "Astral Traveling": Imagine a puddle of water near Chernobyl. Imagine you're a bacteria wading through this water. To the left, there's some sludge; to the right, there's some nuclear waste. Two of you friends go to the sludge, have a grand old time, eat their fill, and then suddenly explode. Two other friends go to the nuclear waste, have a grand old time, eat their fill, and then suddenly explode. What do you do? Why, eat your friends, of course!
     "Radia": Someone just ate my stash and then I ate that someone and then someone else ate me, the first someone, and my stash. God, I'm sleepy.
     "Vox Canon": Someone ate my numbers station!
     "Gradiations": Imagine pong from the inside; imagine you're the blip and the paddles are the size of cars and there's no way for you to escape or slow down. Every time you hit a paddle, you're electrocuted. You pray for a miss, and a sweet, sweet death.
     "Rian": I'm reminded of that movie, The Neverending Story--specifically the scene with the giant who was too lazy to do anything but sleep and, occasionally, sneeze. Well, imagine that scene, only this time, instead of a sleeping giant, it's a fetishist wrapped up in one of those masks with zippers sealing up the eyes, mouth, and ears. Imagine that fetishist wading across a river of mercury, desperately trying to reach the other side of the river before the mercury poisoning kills him. It sounds like that.

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