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Bird Show Green Inferno Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

Second solo effort from Town and Country guitarist/cornettist Ben Vida. Minimalism,...

Peter Marsh 2005

This is the second album from Chicagoan Ben Vida, who's probably best known as a member of minimalist acoustic types Town and Country. Alone with a 16 track recorder and some field recordings made in Puerto Rico and Tokyo, Vida has concocted a rich, febrile soundscape populated with buzzing, droning, scything strings, wheezy harmoniums, distant voices and the chatter of insects.

The location recordings give an ethnographical edge to the proceedings;imagine Pauline Oliveros and Tony Conrad jamming in the jungle (or on one occasion, at aheliport). Whatever, Vida knows his drones. "All Afternoon"sprays a heap of microtonally slurring violins over the gentle buzz of mbira patterns, while the two part "Always/Never Sleep" moves from raspy, insistent percussion to shifting, stacked chords from organ, accordion and harmonium. These gradually coalesce into a series of glassy, Oliveros-likedrones that'll send the unwitting listener into some deep alpha state. Delicious.

"Kindlight - Green Inferno" and "(Dawn of the Dead)" are more mysterious still; fragilesongs poke through Vida's hazy minimalism. There's shades of Robert Wyatt's bruised balladry or even Arto Lindsay's whispered eroticism, but these are just fleeting impressions. In the end, Vida's music is distinctive and allusive enough to stand on its own...

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