Bitte Orca

Bitte Orca

by Dirty ProjectorsDirty Projectors


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Dirty Projectors' mastermind Dave Longstreth appears to be attracted to sounds that will simultaneously draw in and confound the average listener; he has a clear, sweet voice and a gift for well-crafted harmonies and melodies that bring out the innate beauty of his music, but he often weds them to fractured time signatures that cause the songs to shift gear at the least expected moments, and he tosses in sudden bursts of atonal skronk that are either bracing or puzzling depending on your point of view. Released in 2009, Bitte Orca certainly follows in this tradition, and there's enough aural shape-shifting on this set to keep anyone guessing on first listen. Despite that, in many respects Bitte Orca is one of Dirty Projectors' most accessible efforts to date; the slinky "Stillness Is the Move" could almost pass for mainstream R&B with its potent groove, lush harmonies by Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, and elegant string coda, though with Longstreth's wiry juju guitar leads floating over the top, this ain't quite Beyoncé, and the placid semi-folkie grace of "Two Doves" (which bears a certain melodic resemblance to a-ha's MTV-driven hit "Take on Me") is truly lovely even when the dramatic dynamics of the string section seem intent on calling attention to some darker undercurrents. On the other side of the coin, there's "Useful Chamber," which combines bent vocal samples, wheezing synthesizers, steadily chugging beatboxes, and sudden blasts of overdriven electric guitar to form a pocket concerto of beauty and noise, and "The Bride," where Longstreth's guitar hops back and forth between polite acoustic strum, bluesy slide work, and shards of noise while the rhythm section tries to keep up and the vocals drift past the foreground like a cloud. Bitte Orca's nine tracks all seems to be bursting with ideas that they can barely contain, but despite the sometimes fractured synapses of this music, the songs are at once surefooted and agile, and "Remade Horizon" and "No Intention" are joyous and funky in their own curious way, and you can dance to them if you're in the right frame of mind. Dave Longstreth isn't quite trying to make things easy for his listeners on Bitte Orca, but there's far too much pleasure in this music for its eccentricities to put off anyone who is open to its gleeful, eclectic internationalist heart. [In 2010, Domino Records released a special edition of Bitte Orca with deluxe packaging and a second disc of bonus material. The bonus disc leads off with Longstreth, Coffman, and Deradoorian performing five songs from the album in a special acoustic concert; stripped to their essentials, the melodies of these tunes are all the more strikingly beautiful, and the interaction between the vocalists is sublime. The other six tracks are B-sides and outtakes from the Bitte Orca sessions, including a propulsive remix of "Stillness on the Move," a fine cover of Bob Dylan's "As I Went Out One Morning," and the almost title track "Bitte Bitte Orca," which turns out to be a short fragment arranged for strings. The extras aren't quite strong enough that most folks who own Bitte Orca should consider buying it a second time, but hardcore fans will be pleased with the additional material, and if you missed this excellent album on first release, the expanded version is well worth your attention.]

Product Details

Release Date: 09/28/2010
Label: Domino
UPC: 0801390028427
catalogNumber: 284


Disc 1

  1. Cannibal Resource
  2. Temecula Sunrise
  3. The Bride
  4. Stillness Is the Move
  5. Two Doves
  6. Useful Chamber
  7. No Intention
  8. Remade Horizon
  9. Fluorescent Half Dome

Disc 2

  1. Fluorescent Half Dome
  2. Temecula Sunrise
  3. Two Doves
  4. Cannibal Resource
  5. No Intention
  6. Emblem of the World
  7. Wave the Bloody Shirt
  8. Bitte Bitte Orca
  9. Stillness Is the Move
  10. As I Went Out One Morning

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dirty Projectors   Primary Artist
Nat Baldwin   Group Member
Dave Longstreth   Group Member
Amber Coffman   Group Member
Angel Deradoorian   Group Member
Jordan Dykstra   Viola
Haley Dekle   Group Member
Caleb Russell   Violin
Andrew Todd   Violin
Brian McOmber   Group Member

Technical Credits

Bob Dylan   Composer
Kevin Hartman   Engineer
Nicolas Vernhes   Additional Production
Dave Longstreth   Composer,Producer,Drum Engineering
Jason Frank Rothenberg   Cover Photo
Robby Moncrieff   Engineer
Amber Coffman   Composer
Rob Carmichael   Layout
Jordan Dykstra   Director
Brian McOmber   Drum Engineering
Dig for Fire   Engineer

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