Pre-Human Ideas, 180G Black Vinyl LP, Phil Elverum of The Microphones!
This is an unusual release for Mount Eerie for many reasons. Here are some of them:
- overtly recorded on a computer (as opposed to the customary extreme 100% analog style)
- pretty weird human portrait on the cover (as opposed to a non-personal place-focus)
- totally synthetic voices, digitally garbled (as opposed to legible and literate human tones)
- no new songs (as opposed to the perception that Mount Eerie is “prolific”)
- there is no such thing as a difference between “nature” and “not nature”, it is all wild
These are strange computer recordings of pre-existing Mount Eerie songs, mostly from Clear Moon and Ocean Roar (2012), made post-album-release as exploratory and instructional demos to teach the songs to various touring bands. What’s new here are the added layers of severely pitch shifted and autotuned voices singing newly written lyrics, almost like new songs layered over the old ones, expanding and clarifying the ideas. These songs keep growing, and here they are given new life in cascading walls of MIDI instruments with a voice digitally posing as a hoarse woman or a rough older man. These are strange tones. An alien wonder enters the room.
Note: the first and last tracks are organ compositions previously buried within other songs, totally analog, totally rich, made audible here as complete and penetrable pieces of music.