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Bitte Orca

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Jun. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B002866VCK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

titolo-bitte orcaartista-dirty projectors etichetta-domino-n. dischi1data12 giugno 2009supportocd audio

BBC Review

Just who is David Longstreth, the driving force behind Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors? Is he the front man of a quintessential New York art pop band, or a hitherto undiscovered Malian bluesman, or even the latest chart friendly R&B producer?

On the band's fifth collection, Bitte Orca, Longstreth adopts all three of these guises - within the space of the first four tracks. What's more, he manages to pull it off. Anyone familiar with the earlier works of Dirty Projectors, which include a choral and orchestral tribute to Don Henley of the Eagles and an entire album of Black Flag cover versions, won't exactly be surprised by this idiosyncratic, freewheeling approach, but the music here is also surprisingly tuneful and accessible.

Very few artists completely defy classification, but Yale graduate Longstreth brings all his dauntingly cerebral compositional versatility to bear on Bitte Orca to make it pretty damn near impossible. It's difficult to think of another performer who could follow Stillness Is The Move, featuring singer Amber Coffman warbling like a Mariah-style diva over a funky hip hop beat, with Two Doves, a sombre, string-laden ballad which could be a long lost Nico recording, and then the complex Krautrock rhythms of the title track.

The one ubiquitous ingredient throughout Bitte Orca is Longstreth's endlessly inventive guitar playing. Like fellow Brooklynites Vampire Weekend, he's clearly a fan of African tunings and styles, which are a key influence on most of the songs here, but, often within the space of the same solo, he'll suddenly surprise us with a crunching hard rock riff. As a singer he's a little less impressive, but still offers an effective focal point for the ethereal Coffman and Angel Deradoorian to weave their intricate vocal harmonies around, which they do throughout the record with beguiling results.

From The Velvet Underground through to Patti Smith and David Byrne, the Big Apple has always excelled at producing boundary challenging musical mavericks. Dirty Projectors may never reach quite the same heights of popular acclaim as those lofty names, but Longstreth and his band are nevertheless worthy successors to their proud tradition. --Chris White

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Format: Audio CD
Dirty Projectors are a band so singularly unconventional that I wondered how they had managed to gain so much popular attention - although their recent David Byre collaboration (the excellent `Knotty Pine', from Red Hot's much admired `Dark Was the Night' compilation) certainly must have helped. Dave Longstreth, we are told, studied classical composition at Yale University, a fact that informs his renegade time-signatures and the tricksy, rug-pulling complexity of his recordings. Moreover, he sings like someone doing an impromptu impression of Anthony Hegarty, or even Jeff Buckley, with dubious accuracy, and on `Bitte Orca' is as at home producing lilting chamber folk as contemporary R&B, two genres not normally caught dead in each other's company. In fact, these unlikely bedfellows form the album's stunning centrepiece tracks featuring the female vocalists (presumably) adorning the cover artwork: the summery soul of `Stillness is the Move', sung by Amber Coffman, which sounds like Aaliyah; and the lilting, orchestral 'Two Doves', which could be Joanna Newsom, but is in fact Angel Deradoorian. That's right, Aaliyah and Joanna Newsom.

It is worth going back to David Byrne to gain a slippery foothold in describing such a genuinely unusual band. There is something of Byrne and Brian Eno's Afro-pop infusion here that might please fans of, say, Vampire Weekend or Yeasayer. There is a hint of Toumani Diabaté's Malian string pickery on `Temecula Sunrise' and `No Intention', and a distinctly African bent to the chanted melodies of `Remade Horizon'. Longstreth, however, exceeds even Byrne in his unadashedly intellectual, and often impenetrable, lyrical concerns.
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Format: Audio CD
You might have bought the brilliant RedHot compilation Dark Was The Night and like me adored opener, the Dirty Projectors "Knotty Pine," an ecstatic, acoustic guitar stomp featuring David Byrne. When I saw this, their latest, getting good write ups I decided to have a listen. I wasn't expecting something with the (reletively) straight forward pop rush of that song and I didn't get it. What you have here is a strange amalgum of swooping vocals, sublime female harmonies, virtuoso guitar and sudden rock lurches.
In fact "lurches" is what a number of the songs here do quite often - suddenly coming in with a surprise left hook of distorted guitar before going acapella, going to a Beck-ish beat, an "african" (sorry I'm not sufficiently "well listened" to be more specific) sounding guitar break...and so on.
It's not just messing around and showing off though, the songs are strong and I've woken up with one or another in my head since I bought it. "Cannibal Resource" opens things with a really intoxicating melody, generous helpings of rock crunch and is "normal" enough to entice a wary listener. "Tecemula Sunrise" features a great Byrnish line about living "in the stretch beyond the dealership" and has ear zingingly "out" guitars festooning its chorus. "Useful Chamber" begins with "Kid A" like shifting tones before throwing in a guitar that's still wrongfooting me five or so listens in.
If being wrongfooted by your music makes the whole thing sound horribly "avant" and undanceable, if not unlistenable, defintely check out R&B flavoured party piece "STillness is the Move" a fantastic funky choon.
All in all an unusual sounding album but a seriously fun one. Have a listen.
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Format: Audio CD
This is wonderful stuff. The Dirty Projectors open the recent "Dark was the Night" compilation with the infectious song "Knotty Pine". I have struggled to listen to anything else on the album since. It certainly has Talking Heads overtones and was written with David Byrne as was the beautiful "Ambulance Man" they have subsequently recorded together and performed live on stage.

Let's pause here. I am not suggesting that the Dirty Projectors are some sort of Talking Heads tribute band, it would come no where near explaining the depth of invention on this album which I can only describe as Prince meets Todd Rundgren via Frank Zappa with Aretha Franklin and Bjork thrown in for good measure. Their main man David Longstreth a Yale musical-composition major leads this collective grouping of musicians who are frankly nuts and Bitte Orca does have its moments of outright bafflement. Longstreth has already recorded a range of albums including The Getty Address an opera about Don Henley (Sic) and 2007's Black Flag quasi-tribute album, Rise Above. Yes I know it sounds like pseuds corner! Don't let that put you off as there is more invention on this album than in a Stephen Hawking lecture.

The music is angular, playful, eccentric, often fragmented, surprising but hugely tuneful and lush orchestral "pop" but in the very broadest sense.

The songs in particular sung by Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian's stunning voices are especially strong. My favourites are the single "Stillness is move" which is sounds like a cross between African funk and Scritti Politti. It would completely grace the charts and is a wonderful summer track.
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