ANALOG BIRDS Musique Concrete (2007)

Musique Concrete (2007)
Strangely Unheard

Another amazing release. Analog Birds features J. Ward (Asa Milbankx), Timothy McNicholas and Bronson Stevic (Ali A.B.), along with friends (who have violins, cellos, banjos and trombones). The unsigned band’s three releases include 2004′s Out Of Sight and Don’t Let It Slow You Down, and this amazingly melodic issue from 2007, Musique Concrete DOWNLOAD HERE. We’ll do what we did when we posted Milbankx’ 2009 album as The Latters, Simple Shapes + Patterns (HERE)… player the first few tunes so you can hear for yourself the seemingly effortless range of ideas, the easy-going intertwining of material and those exquisite pop vocals. I have, but still hesitate to use comparisons, because they’re often so slight… a hint of Emitt Rhodes in a dual vocal harmony, esoterica that might suggest a deep 10cc/Godley & Creme cut, or maybe just a majestic falsetto worthy of any Wilson. The melodies and invention, however, aren’t cribbed from any old albums. The Birds & Milbankx offer a fresh, almost strangely unheard take on pop music – minus the clichés, sans the ancient blueprints and, in their place, a uniquely original style. Many of the tracks linger around the 2 minute mark, yet they’re all stuffed with eager harmonies and dreamlike instrumentation. Repeated listens will confirm this stuff is refreshingly off the beaten path, each track is its own surprise… and it’s as consistently winning (from start to finish) as the aforementioned Latters release from two years later. We’re not going to post Milbankx and Friends’ entire catalog over here (though we should), so you’re advised to bookmark the artists’ collective, Mount Valley.net (HERE), and check in for all sorts of free, outside-the-box creativity.

Arbiters Grounds (2:12)
Trophies By The Bay (1:52)
Jingo (2:39)
Blue River In My Backyard (4:32)
Infidel$$$ (2:09)
Safety Boat (2:03)
Jewels Of Savannah (1:36)
Sea Of Jewels (2:48)
Trophies IV (3:04)
The Girl In The Doorway (2:48)

 

9 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    February 28, 2012 - 11:26 | Permalink

    Grab HERE

  • 2
    Joe
    February 28, 2012 - 15:15 | Permalink

    This looks compelling. Thanks for the share!

  • 3
    Muddy
    February 28, 2012 - 16:49 | Permalink

    This is more great stuff from Asa Milbankx. Thanks

  • 4
    February 28, 2012 - 17:43 | Permalink

    Excellent sweet stuff Willard

  • 5
    byker vic
    March 1, 2012 - 01:41 | Permalink

    Asa Milbanks is a genius. Thanks for turning me on to him

  • 6
    March 3, 2012 - 17:16 | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind review, Willard, and thanks to the wonderful people who posted comments here. The encouragement is much appreciated.

    I’d like to reiterate one thing about Analog Birds – unlike my solo work (Milbankx and The Latters’ first album) Musique Concrete is a true three-way collaborative effort. Willard mentioned this in the review, but I’d like to just underscore the point – Tim and Ali (aka Bronson Stevic) easily contributed 2/3 of the content on Musique Concrete, in terms of songwriting, production, and performance. We also had great talents like our pal Matt McNiff on slide guitar, George Niesuchouski on drums, Terence Marciano on trombones and lap steel, and Daniel Tanenbaum on violins. These gentlemen all assisted with the arrangements and improved the album greatly through their contributions; they are also close friends of ours.

    Most songs on the album are two or three-way collaborations, and only one song on the album, “Infidel$$$,” was entirely written by me. “Blue River” was written almost entirely by Tim, and “Trophies by the Bay” was mostly written by Ali (Bronson Stevic). Although I sing most of the songs, Tim and Ali contributed greatly to the lyrics and melodies. As an example, “Jewels of Savannah” was mostly written by Tim, who wrote and sung the verses; Ali and I came up with the chorus lyrics and melody, and then Ali took it upon himself to expand the track into “Sea of Jewels.” Tim wrote all the lyrics for the verses of “Blue River in My Backyard,” and I am still jealous of how effortlessly profound they are.

    Indeed, Timothy McNicholas is a singular talent – I would not hesitate to call him a musical genius – and Ali is preternaturally skilled at arranging and composing. The two of them have a new project called “Ghost Quarter” that is kicking off with a new single this month (March 2012), called “Season of Rapture,” on mountvalley.net. I play bass on the single, so it is a bit of an AB reunion.

    We are also slowly building a new Analog Birds album to follow Musique Concrete. It will probably be released in late 2012. We will update Mount Valley with more info as we move forward with the project.

    Again, thanks for all the kind words, and please remember, Timothy McNicholas and Ali A.B. are the real deal. Without them, “Musique Concrete” would simply not exist.

  • 7
    Willard
    March 3, 2012 - 19:20 | Permalink

    Cool… thanks for all the details, Asa.

  • 8
    March 4, 2012 - 16:07 | Permalink

    Ha – Too many details Willard, I know! You covered these aspects in your review to begin with, but I wanted to make sure people knew the difference between Analog Birds and my solo work. Thanks again for all the coverage you’ve given us, it means a lot.

  • 9
    Willard
    August 20, 2012 - 17:24 | Permalink

    My pleasure, it’s great stuff.

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