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|le vestibule - vestibule
CD 2008 | No More Stars 007
2 tracks, 52 minutes
le vestibule, vestibule transitoire
South Carolina guitarist
Brian Lea McKensie's fourth album under the EBN monikor is an ambient wash
of haunting electronic soundscapes in the mould of Stars of The Lid and
Windy & Carl, et. al. As the title suggests, the release consists of
two sidelong tracks of soothing guitar lines, supplemented by ebow stroking
and feedback looping. (The titles refer to the radio show, "Le Vestibule"
with DJ, Jean-Francois Fecteau, for which they were originally recorded
and they are here released on McKenzie's own label with distribution through
the fine folks at Silber Media.)
Fans of Eno's ambient works will also enjoy these soundtrack style offerings, which paint musical pictures on the insides of your eyelids with their swaying processed loops that will have your heads swirling throughout. I can almost hear these sonic tones accompanying some Discovery Channel special on the origins of the Universe! Warm, enveloping, claustrophobic, yet as comforting as grandma's arms on a cold Winter afternoon. Simply amazing!
~ Jeff Penczak, Foxy Digitalis
On his latest release, Brian
Lea McKenzie, otherwise known as experimental rock composer Electric Bird
Noise, moves further into minimalist realms; the entire album, which consists
of just two extended tracks, was created using an electric guitar and an
arsenal of reverb, digital delay, and distortion pedals. The first track,
"La Vestibule," is the more sonically extreme of the two, starting off
with fairly typical space rock loops and guitar effects that mimic vintage
analog synthesizers, but as the loops begin to pan sharply back and fourth
across the stereo channels it becomes hypnotic, almost disorienting. There's
a particular unsubtle quality to the song's trance-inducing repetition
that makes for an interesting listen; "La Vestibule" doesn't try to lull
you into an altered state of consciousness, it practically forces you there,
whether you like it or not. Despite it's more insistent qualities, it does
still leave room for subtlety, and if it's rather intense in places, it's
an interesting journey, especially in the latter half of the song, where
the distortion fades into a sparse but still rhythmic loop of windy fuzz
before building back into a wash of freight train-sized clatter. Second
track "Vestibule Transitoire" is a much more mellow offering, with deep
ambient tones and eerie, drawn-out accents in higher pitches. It's also
slightly more recognizable as a guitar piece, with sparse harmonic touches
giving way to a low feedback buzz. More soothing than the previous track,
it nonetheless employs occasional moments of chaos to keep things from
moving too deep into drone territory, and makes for a wonderfully somber
meditation, especially paired with the more forceful "La Vestibule." Experimental
but quite listenable, this release will especially appeal to fans of such
acts as Fear Falls Burning, Windy and Carl, and Bass Communion.
~ Matthew Johnson, Grave Concerns
This is the 4th full-length
album of Electric Bird Noise. This project set up by Brian Lea McKenzie
is a special one, as it sounds quite different from his previous work.
That’s because there’s a kind of concept behind the album. It was made
for a radio show “Le Vestibule”. It results in 2 long duration pieces of
music bringing us more than 50 minutes of ambient music. The main instrument
of McKenzie remains the guitar and it’s totally amazing to hear in which
way he brings guitar play into deep and meaningful ambient music. The opening
cut (cf. “Le Vestibule”) is pure soundtrack like and I had to wait for
more than 11 minutes to get some evolution in the song writing. A kind
of disturbing sound emerges to the surface accentuating a darker part.
Next comes “Vestibule Transitoire” which brings us 26 minutes of mysterious
atmospheres. This track is definitely colder while the low keyboard tones
only reinforce certain tormenting feelings. The guitar parts are once again
amazing and it’s definitely magic to hear the way this instrument can be
played and used! Electric Bird Noise is minimal, conceptual and experimental
so definitely for a very restricted number of people! Well, I’m sure they
will love it!
The latest from EBN (interesting
enough, the same initials for Emergency Broadcast Network) is two tracks
of about 25 minutes each. Because of this, instead of informing us of "key"
or "recommended" tracks, the label gives us "recommended transition points."
I think this is a first. Brian Lea McKenzie's experimental drones --produced
mainly by guitar---are stunningly unearthly. If there are indeed cosmic
soundwaves eminating from the depths of the galaxy, the Bird Noise is eerily
close to its representation.
~ Kenyon Hopkin, Advance Copy