Saturday, April 2, 2011

Black Figure of a Bird named The Deli's Album of the Month for April

"If the massive resurgence of fuzzy, static-laden, shoegaze-y music in the past five years is any indication, music fans love noise. But Nick Millevoi, a key figure in several projects before this, isn’t reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine in the slightest. Instead, his frenetic twelve-string compositions owe much more to the No Wave scene of ‘70s/80s New York, a flash-in-the-pan group of musicians who used noise, minimal structure, and sometimes utter intimidation as their claim to notoriety. The noisiness found on Millevoi’s Black Figure of a Bird offers virtually nothing in terms of the warmth, delicacy, or etherealness that’s expected from today’s shoegaze trend-followers. In fact, the title of the last track, “Nothing Forms a Liquid”, might be a perfect descriptor of what’s going on here. Millevoi’s lone guitar is all treble, a chiming, brittle tonality that maps out into a dozen angles at once. His compositions are fiercely bare-bones, but with an undeniable life-blood churning somewhere at their core.

“Warm Green Disks” shows something of Millevoi’s jazz leanings, as well as a serious King Crimson vibe (Larks’ Tongues in Aspic era), in its constant, spidery movement up and down his freakishly-tuned scales, before building into a fuller, more atonal onslaught. This structure becomes a pattern, consistently finding new variations over the course of the record’s brief tracklist. “Life in Ice” offers a similar chordal fury interspersed with noise-making that gives you, quite chillingly, the effect of ice cracking and splintering off beneath your feet. “What Sunlight Does Make It Through” is about as gentle as the record gets, with spacey swaths that grow increasingly more tense and effects-laden. “Bruxer” is like a Greg Ginn solo pushed to its limit and looped for a minute and a half, and “Nothing Forms a Liquid” experiments with excessively-overdriven pinch harmonics.

Black Figure of a Bird isn’t for everyone; it really only caters to that specific set of listeners who enjoy atonal guitar experiments. But those who feel themselves a part of that category will undoubtedly find these tunes both visceral and fascinating." - Joe Poteracki