James Fisher Split Baby Bits

Split Baby Bits is quite a brash title, but when it's attached to an album that sounds like the collection of beats put forth by James Fisher (aka Zirco Fish, one half of Toronto duo Squid Lid), it seems oddly appropriate. The entire disc is like a warped out, pseudo-suicidal playing field that sort of makes you feel like you've entered the big top from hell — you're always expecting psychotic clowns to come tumbling out from somewhere. The disc is an assemblage of sounds and noises layered to produce the truly deranged. There are distorted childlike voices, bells, whistles, hoots, hollers and howls — even end of the world, apocalyptic sirens on "Seeker For Soul." Toss in interesting vocal segments and glitchy, gimmicky sound effects and the package is complete. Though some tracks stew in a dismal, grim air they all have an underlying curiosity to them. To give Fisher some credit, Split Baby Bits is unique and inventive, if undeniably bizarre, but is perhaps better suited as a cinematic score to a Fellini reworking. This is the type of thing you might expect to hear outside a haunted house set up around Halloween, but tinged with a funky aura, and a hell of a lot more creativity. (Zirco)