Ever since the 1960s, when hippies first got control of electronic recording equipment, the sounds of whale songs have proven irresistible to environmentally aware musicians. It's understandable why: combine genuinely beautiful and awe-inspiring sonics with correct politics, market the result to Baby Boomers, and you've got a sure-fire moneymaker on your hands. This particular collection owes its genesis to Jim Nollman and Sam Bower of Interspecies Communication Inc. and greenmuseum.org respectively, both of whom seek to revolutionize interactions between humans and animals through music and art. They collected 350 recorded snippets of sounds made by whales, dolphins, seals, shrimp, lobsters and other undersea creatures, and sent the snippets out to a wide variety of like-minded electronic music artists including Yannick Dauby, LapCore, Scanner, Kim Cascone, and (inevitably) Merzbow, inviting them to take the source sounds and turn them into music. The results are occasionally funky and consistently fascinating. LapCore's "Club Delphinapterus" puts glitchy bleeps and chirps up against a gentle but insistent beat; Thanos Chrysakis' "Moby Dick Dives In the Ocean's Dreams" sounds like '60s analog synthesizer doodling as it might be heard on a cheap AM transistor radio; Homer Smith's "Detritus in the Wake" piles layer upon layer of soft white noise and faint chordal chugging and embroiders it all with subtle threads of diatonic melody. Merzbow, as usual, expresses his love of animals by attempting to make life as miserable as possible for humans -- or at least for the humans who may end up hearing the awful racket that is his contribution to this collection. Highly recommended overall.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson