From where we're sitting (lotus-legged, naturally), Kranky has been on a roll these past few years, signing many notable new (or newish) acts that are often solo projects or duos, yet feel fully-formed: Valet, White Rainbow, Atlas Sound, Lichens, Benoit Pioulard, Andrew Pekler, Cloudland Canyon...Although there are many elder bands on the Chicago-based label's roster of this general, ineffable ilk (Charalambides, Windy & Carl, Stars Of The Lid, Keith Fullerton Whitman, etc.), the A&R pace certainly seemed to pick up right around the time they took on Bird Show's first record, Green Inferno, back in 2005.
Then working with fellow Town And Country player Liz Payne only to go it alone for '06's Lightning Ghost, multi-instrumentalist Ben Vida is joined on this untitled effort by four other players: Rob "Lichens" Lowe and Ben's brother Adam, the three of whom are also 3/4 of US Maple successor of sorts Singer; improv percussionist Michael Zerang; and Greg Davis, who has toured as part of a collaborative trio with Vida and Whitman. Pan-African, Middle Eastern, South Asian and South American soundways intermingle in a rhythmic haze that's maybe more confident in how it'll cohere and congeal than the last two albums, as this more social setup allows for simultaneous recording and fewer overdubs. The fourth-world spirits of Riley, Hassell, and Codona run through this music, and a true fusion connection is here for the making.
Joseph Raglani, for his part, presents a mighty fine floater with Of Sirens Born, mainly synthesized and seemingly rooted in old-school analogue academic experimental electronics, but with enough warmth and gumption to want to lump it in with the punkier noiseniks and ambient outcasts. Makes for terrific namesake theme music whenever it graces the store's PA!