Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Dominic Valvona 08/07/2010
Originally released back in 2009, this seven track EP seems to be acting the part of a bridging the gap between Bitte Ocra and their rumoured upcoming album, that's set to be released later this year.
Comprising of five versions of 'Stillness Is The Move', a version of Bitte Bitte Orca and a segue way entitled Wave The Bloody Shirt, this achingly hip disjointed show of artful indie, perfectly encapsulates their omnivorous sound.
Essentially the title track is an attempt at a ballad - well as close as these guys are ever likely to get to one - with Amber Coffman deliriously swooning and yelping in true diva style warbles, accompanied by empyreal harmonies, which just stay on the right side of cliché.
Even the songs lyrics uneasily teeter on a finely balanced knife edge, with such fabled wise pronunciations as “On top of every mountain there was a great longing, for another higher mountain”, or there's the inner self probing spiritual hogwash of “Isn't life under the sun just a crazy dream? Isn't life just a mirage of the world before the world” - indeed.
Conducting this grandiose lament is the bands leader and founder Dave Longstreth, who successfully marries together the oscillations and peculiar retro synth chic of Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh to the Afro-beat blues of the Nigerian delta, whilst creating a soundscape of abstracted drum patterns to give the song some punch.
The various other versions of the song range from a percussion-backed acapella, Timbaland's sound engineer Jimmy Douglas's more pronounced meaty mix, and Philadelphia collective, Lucky Dragons, looptastic reverb heavy remix.
Also included is the passing choral haunting vignette Wave The Bloody Shirt, a touching sound-piece built around smashed hi-hats, crunching drums, ratchet sounds and stirring ambient sweeps redolent of Richard James.
A version of Bitte Bitte Orca from the last album is also on view, coming over all cello heavy Midlake and chamber orchestral, with rousing ascending and descending chords of pure pulchritude.
The Dirty Projectors own ennui attitude means that they are constantly shifting and changing tact, with these rapid probing changes even in evidence over the duration of a single song.
'Stillness Is The Move' goes from Brooklyn psych-folk to West African polyrhythm in the blink of an eye, dragging various other genres along for the ride, like polygenesis treasure hunters, to create one of the most creative bands of the last few years.
Release date: 17/07/2010