US band ELECTRIC BIRD NOISE have a history that goes back a couple of decades, and can generally be described as an experimental band, creating everything from noise-tinged, almost abrasive psychedelic landscapes to ambient floating excursions as well as harder edged, new wave oriented creations with more of a space rock feel. The album “Nighttime Tides” dates back to 2016, and was released through US label Silber Records.
What we get on this album is one long creation, stretching out to just over half an hour in length. As far as general placement in genres is concerned, I’d say that this is ambient music first and foremost. This due to the soft, relaxing mood that is present throughout, making this a production that will be ideal to soothe the mind, to be used for meditation and similar activities where a soft, undemanding music presence will be needed.
That doesn’t mean that this is irrelevant music, and we are a bit removed from the sounds of light and non-invasive sounds here. That the music is relaxing does not make it one without a presence, at least not in this case. That the album and composition is called Nighttime Tides is for a reason, as the general atmosphere here is one that do indeed come with direct associations to night time moods. Dark, warm fluctuating instrument textures is a constant undercurrent and, indeed, has that wavelike movement one may well associate with a tide. Lighter toned textures is also a part of these landscapes, this duality creating a warm, soft and extremely pleasant backdrop. On top, plucked, echoing sounds that presumably comes courtesy of a guitar adds nerve and tension, and in sum we are taken into a compelling landscape with subtle psychedelic and cosmic tendencies.
While the general premise of this composition is an alluring and compelling one, at least for me, what will be somewhat divisive is that this creation doesn’t really go anywhere. Minor variations and very subtle alterations do occur, but this isn’t a song that sets out at one place and moves towards another. We are in the very same place at the end as we were at the start. Great for those who enjoy closing their eyes and immersing themselves into a set mood and atmosphere, not as much for those whose desire for music is to be taken on a journey.
If you tend to enjoy ambient landscapes with a delicate psychedelic and careful cosmic orientation, and tend to be fond of excursions of this kind to be explored in a dark but non-threatening context, this is a production that merits a check. Not so much a composition, but more an elongated visit to one specific mood with gently fluctuating tides circulating with minor and subtle variations on each repetition. A highly compelling and strangely alluring mood piece, with hypnotic qualities to boot.
My rating: 60/100
1. Nighttime Tides