Using a refreshing blend of acoustic instruments and computers, Mike Martinez' debut album as Electric Birds offers a look at the warm and gentle side of the electronic music spectrum. Martinez draws from minimalist composers like Steve Reich (whose Music for 18 Musicians was definitely the inspiration for this album's "Parallelogram") and drone rockers like My Bloody Valentine (the rich tapestry of distortion that closes out "Finger and Stroke" seems inspired by Loveless), but Martinez' particular blend is an original one. He manages to lend a human feel to the microtonal world of glitch by keeping an ear out for beauty in all his arrangements. On "Invisibility," Martinez even manages to craft a relatively conventional pop tune, and a beautiful one at that. His muted and processed vocals, ringing guitars, and echo-laden production atmosphere give the flavor of a technologically savvy update on slowcore bands like Duster or Galaxie 500. But most of Electric Birds veers toward more abstract territory, with tracks like "Hyper Elevation" building on the innovations of artists like Nuno Cannevero and Oval. Electric Birds is a deeply satisfying record for those interested in a lyrical take on electronic ambience.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Richardson