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Electric Bird Noise: le vestibule - vestibule transitoire le vestibule - vestibule transitoire 
CD 2008 | No More Stars 007
2 tracks, 52 minutes
$12 ($18 international)
track listing:
le vestibule, vestibule transitoire
Reviews:
Electric Bird Noise is a project from Brian McKenzie, a guitarist from the underground drone and electronic scene in South Carolina, should there be any at all.  This is the fourth effort from his solo project, and is fairly far removed from his earlier days, focusing on a dreamy soundscape of guitar-driven drones and feedback.  The textures found within Le Vestibule – Vestibule Transitoire are largely flowing patterns, from the ethereal and shoegazey, to the spherical and electronic.  Though, with this release the artist has dropped the rhythmic appeal, with no drum loops or samples being present, and the absence of any keyboard work is noticeable as well.
The first thought that will come to mind with the first half of the album, Le Vestibule, is the ocean at dusk.  With the waves sweeping in, ever closer to land, and pulling whatever it engulfs back into the sea.  The guitar drones have a background of fuzz, counteracted by a seemingly endless wall of volume swells with the effect of the trademark shoegaze drone.  As these waves eventually secede to dawn though, the lonely silence sets in, right before the horizon, the moment when the nocturnal lays to rest and the creatures of day are about to stir.  As the day breaks the mastered criss-cross pattern becomes apparent through the speakers as the feedbacks take turns relentlessly.  Unfortunately, at some point this does more to take the listener out of the experience than to send them drifting, but eventually subsides with the coming of the excruciating drawn-out arrival of the melodic drone, until it too subsides with the criss-cross reverting and taking over again, until once more, silence.  The depths take hold, the victim drowns, and all previous life is replaced by a strange ¾ timed whirlwind of swishing that pummels the listener until its sudden end.
Track two, Vestibule Transitoire, is where the real experience lies though.  The music here is less ocean-oriented and endlessly melodic.  Notes swell in and out of each other over minutes of harmony and disharmony, floating in and out like an owl catching mice in the night.  About 7 minutes in, the music becomes less drone-oriented, though still embracing the obvious cause, and becomes endlessly more expressive and emotional.  The drones pair with a loops 3-note progression that interact and bring about a melancholic cloud until the middle of the track, when the atmosphere fades a bit, the notes becoming one once more and floating along this soundscape eternally.  Through the end, this track lifts us out of the sea and into the sky, into space, the spherical ending we all meet.
A departure worth the wait, and an album meant for so much more than the lonely existence as a digital-only release.  Thankfully, and nothing taking away from No More Stars Records, Silber Records picked this one up for a CD release.  This is one no droner should do without, especially those of you looking towards the more expressive side of music, and not simply for the bleak and loveless.
~ Heathen Harvest

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!
~ Side-Line

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