It is pretty much guaranteed that if Switzerland-based label Dead Vox is releasing something it is going to be something worth listening to. That is certainly the case with the new record Autumnal Hum by Bird People. Bird People is a solo and collaborative project formed in 2010 by sound artist Uli Rois who plays the accordion, mountain dulcimer, sitar, voice, percussion and analogue synths for the perfect inner journey. There are two tracks on this album that are each about eighteen-and-a-half minutes long and the album is dedicated to the changing seasons and the lesson of consistency in change that they teach.
“Blodeuwedd's Night Song” starts with a beautiful sustained drone that you might hear from a project like Stars Of the Lid. It feels infinite as if it has no end or beginning but soon gets injected with other layers, which disrupt the inertia of sound. A pulsating low frequency sine wave is introduced that curtails the outer core of sound. At about the five- minute mark you start to become hypnotized by the repetitive, sustained frequencies. The subtle nuances drives the soundscape before a fairly prominent tone comes into the forefront only to quickly subside. Around the fourteen- minute mark the reverb and overall music sounds as it coming from a cavern the size of Grand Canyon. The epic size is slightly frightening yet fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed how the sound avoids the typical cliché of going to grandiose. By the sixteen-minute mark the song is crawling with emotional complexity forged by a rich variety of notes and instruments.
The second piece entitled “The Looming Mountain is a Wide-Awake Body” is just as inspired as the first but in a different way. This time around the focal point is initially a fluctuating, mechanical drone rather than a sustained beam of sounds as if it was emanating from the sun. The general ambience is ominous, almost cryptic as if you were to decipher the language of an ancient race of aliens. White noise as well as arpeggiated elements make themselves known as they fade in and out of existence.
Overall, the sounds Uli Rois creates on Autumnal Hum reinforce and mimic the premise in which they were built upon. Much like the seasons the pieces here change subtly over time often returning to stages they were once at before.
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