♫♪  The Humminbird - Beyond the Orchard

To those outside of the Chicago orbit, one that has produced neo-psychedelic juggernauts the Plastic Crimewave Sound and, more recently, the loner-bellow of Circuit des Yeux, Muyassar Kurdi might be a completely new name. A member of the community that has fed the work of the aforementioned, and performing with the moniker The Humminbird, her reverb-drenched stew of voice, autoharp, organ, tanpura, samples, and electronics should open up unknown vistas. Whatever the term “psychedelic” means, a benchmark may exist, and The Humminbird’s minimal chants, pleading, and beguiling in a fuzzed-out haze, clearly put this music well within the psych realm.

Beyond the Orchard is her latest, a six-track EP that (hopefully) will see some sort of physical version. Until then, this twenty-four minute batch of unsettling siren songs, gauze-draped ballads, and rumbling off-kilter loops holds up quite well with a tangibleness that belies its digital home. The first three pieces are a solid introduction — in brief snippets — to Kurdi’s art, culminating in the aptly-titled “Drone,” which takes a page from the Journey in Satchidananda book and melds tanpura, oscillators and feedback into a short but arresting instrumental piece. The following three tunes are a bit longer, hovering around four to six minutes, and range from the nearly oppressive wash of “Dear Momma” to the folksy echoed beauty of “Don’t Want Your Love.” The closing title composition brings the fuzz in a wander of queasy repetition, percussion and blown-out organ that looks somewhat toward early CDY/Espers. Sure, The Humminbird is trippy, but her flitting is quite robust.

• The Humminbird: http://thehumminbird.bandcamp.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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