Electric Birds

Panorama

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Mike Martinez's second album as Electric Birds sheds some of the stylistic diversity of his debut and focuses more intently on crafting warm, dreamy electronic textures. There are no experiments with vocals or free-form digital noise on Panorama; instead, the eight tracks here are comprised mainly of painstakingly constructed sounds looped in various configurations. There is also a stronger emphasis on rhythm, with crisp down-tempo or house beats driving the bulk of the tracks and some (such as "Repercussions," which incorporates an African talking drum) dabbling in more exotic fare. "Avocet (Panorama Mix)" opens the album with a gorgeous synthesizer pattern reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, with the squawking sounds of, perhaps, electric birds serving as punctuation. "Cascadia" begins with loops of gurgling electronics and then folds in an understated drum beat and static-laden drones that manage to remain soothing. "A Green Frost" is Electric Birds at its most ambient, with evocative synth washes that skirt the precipice of new age music and gentle percussion. "Lake City" and "Black Oceans" seem a more listener-friendly take on the glitch-house scene of San Francisco, with echoes of Sutekh's ominous synth textures and Kit Clayton's dubby bottom end. Though Martinez sometimes seems a bit too dependant on loops for his composition, Panorama is another exciting chapter in the Electric Birds story.

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