Bird Show Green Inferno

Bird Show Green Inferno
Hands down the most exciting experimental record to surface so far this year, Bird Show’s debut combines an earthy acoustic essence to the intensity of both middle-eastern and modern psychedelic drones for a mind-melting ride that burrows deeply into the cortex, where it won’t be soon forgotten. Essentially a solo project by Chicagoan post-rock player Ben Vida (of Town and Country, Central Falls, Terminal 4, and Pillow, to name a few), Bird Show’s debut commences with the ringing, almost free-jazz wail of "All Afternoon Part 1,” before it abruptly recedes into field recordings of distant birds and eases into the slow folk-drone blues of "Kind Light – Green Inferno.” But this is only the beginning. Green Inferno’s diverse employment of ethnic instrumentation into a modern psych setting unfurls fresh sounds at every turn. Vida’s use of recurring musical themes in a pair of two-part tracks also creates an intricate balance to the album that serves it incredibly well. As rewarding as it is challenging, Green Inferno stands as a major achievement in the unfolding dimensions of psych and folk-informed musical exploration. Simply put, this record will do your head in.

Would you come up with a sound and set out to do something with it, or would the sounds just kind of emerge from what you were doing? Well, I was pretty interested in keeping it relatively acoustic and simple, and then just by combining certain acoustic instruments, knowing that a third sound would come out of combining two — you know, I would play the violin along with the tambourine then mix them very close together, then the sound of that blend would lead me to the next instrument…

I sense that a lot of ancient or foreign music inspired Green Inferno. Was there any kind of sounds or movements that specifically informed it? Over the last couple of years I’ve been buying more and more music from all over the world. I like Japanese, Polynesian, Gamelan — stuff like that, but I was hearing music from Morocco, music from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and stuff, and it was so exciting to hear because it’s such a groovy music, you know, so many of these musics have such a great feel, like it’s all acoustic, and the tones are bordering on what to my ears sounds like almost an avant-garde thing, but obviously it’s not considered that at all. So that’s totally what was going on, it was me like sitting around the house, listening to those records and being like, "Let’s see what I can do.” (Kranky)