Yasume Where We’re From the Birds Sing a Pretty Song

[City Centre Offices; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: electronic, glitch-dub, ambient electronic
Others: Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, Herrmann and Kleine, Christian Kleine

As a long-time fan of the hit TV Series Twin Peaks, I became extremely excited when I saw the title and cover of this album by Yasume. Any album that nods to the black lodge scenes is good in my book. To say the least, my expectations were very high, as I was hoping this would be every bit as great as the cover suggested. However, I was initially very let down by the fact that Where We’re From the Birds Sing a Pretty Song isn’t even remotely similar to my pre-conjured images of David Lynch or Angelo Badalamenti. Was this simply homage to that idea, the music, or the director?  

With my hopes not initially being met, I decided I’d try to approach the album from a different perspective. I guess it’s pretty unfair to put down an album that doesn’t sound exactly like what you’d hoped it would. City Centre Offices has always produced some very nice electronic music, so it was up to me to just listen and maybe put aside my differences. Once accepting this as an electronic-based album, I began to enjoy a lot of what I was hearing. The music is spacious, warm, and full of delicate “glitchery.” Actually, after I had completely forgotten about the idea behind the music, I was able to find subtle elements of Twin Peaks throughout certain moments of the album (see "Prevailing Wind").   

The fair warning to Twin Peaks fans is that this is not Angelo Badalamenti-type music. If you are able to accept this as another City Centre Offices release, you’ll find that there are some pretty good moments. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that sounds like what you’d hoped this would, you may want to turn towards a band like Bohren & Der Club of Gore with their album Sunset MissionWhere We’re From the Birds Sing a Pretty Song is a good album, but the fact that it’s misleading may, in the end, frustrate quite a few people.       

1. Rengoku (Condensed)
2. When Audrey Dances
3. 2112 Crescent Heights
4. The Prevailing Wind
5. Peculiar Fascination
6. Sing the Noises
7. Slowly, Clearly and Calmly
8. Triumph of Two

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