Title: Birds With The Blackest Hearts
Artist: Brokenkites
Release Date: 03 May 2014
Genre: Electronic
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Self Release / BandCamp / Jamendo

Introduction

So, I haven’t been listening to Brokenkites for all that long. ¬†It appears that I acquired a lot of his work last year, in late September. ¬†But it didn’t take me long to realize that he was an artist that I had a particular liking for: old school synthesizer music (not Berlin School old, though) that is well produced, conceived and very enjoyable to listen to. ¬†Now it’s time to find out if¬†birds with blackest hearts fly Brokenkites.

Birds With Blackest Hearts Fly Brokenkites

Sometimes the title of a release is a real enigma for me. ¬†This release is one of them. ¬†Normally I expect a release’s title to be a frame for the release itself. ¬†And when I look at track titles, I think I am going to have an understanding of some kind of relationship between the release titles and the tracks. ¬†Not so with this release, many of the track titles don’t seem to be relevant to the release title.

But that isn’t a real concern. ¬†I know in many cases, the title of a release might be a phrase that the artist likes, or a reference to some other work, or even just an impressionistic title that seems to fit the release. ¬†And, from what I can tell, this is an impressionistic title. (I am going to feel really silly if there is some reference here that I am completely missing.)

The title does fit the release on this level.  The songs on this album, a whopping fourteen in total, have all the hallmarks of a Brokenkites release: darkness, a spacey quality, old school analog textures, drum tracks that either underscore the synth sweeps, or drive the track forward into the beyond.

This work is a far cry from the first releases by Brokenkites. ¬†Over the last seven years, he has matured in terms of¬†arrangement, composition and production. ¬†In fact, I would say¬†this release is even better than last years Deplorable Words. ¬†A track like ‘Aether I’ which appears on both releases, seems to be better produced / mixed on Birds With Blackest Hearts. (But, that could just be¬†a difference in the encodings of the track I have. ¬†One is a flac file, the other is an ogg — and there is most definitely a sound quality difference.)

This also brings up another subject that I find interesting.¬† Brokenkites appears to (possibly unwittingly) taken a page from Frank Zappa’s theories. ¬†Zappa believed that using¬†songs in different contexts was no different from producing a different arrangement of a song. ¬†It wasn’t unusual to find a song on several different releases from him, and they took on a different meaning given the context of the songs that came before and after. ¬†In a way this was kind of “macro arranging” or re-contextualizing a song.¬† Brokenkites does in several of his releases, so I don’t believe it to be a coincidence, but rather a planned carefully.

Conclusion

Brokenkites describes himself¬†as ¬†writing “…thematic electronic soundtracks for the movie that you’re living. It’s music for time travelers, space persons, and rogue secret agents.” ¬†This is a pretty apt description. ¬†His work is cinematic, engaging and has a dark and spacey element to it. ¬†This latest release is definitely his best to date. The production values have improved substantially over the years. ¬†His composition and arrangements have taken tremendous leaps. ¬†I can definitely recommend this music for anyone that loves old school synthesizer music (like Vangelis and Tangerine Dream), but wants to hear a more modern interpretation of that style.

Brokenkites: Birds With Blackest Hearts

$5 USD (or more)
8.5

Rating

8.5/10

Posted by George De Bruin