Nocturnal Reveries is a 7 track album by experimental ambient / noise trio Pigeon Breeders based in Edmonton, AB which was released on the Ramshackle Day Parade label. On Nocturnal Reveries the band focuses on creating lush bodies of noise that see Pigeon Breeders working with a more organized arrangement of songs as oppose to the freeform chaos that has become ubiquitous to this style of music.
On Nocturnal Reveries the band exploits and manipulates their instruments into forming layers of texture in order to create an encapsulating amount of depth. What sounds like bottles or pieces of metal clank together in the foreground of ‘Urban Decay’ while orchestral bodies of sound rise and fall in the background. The track does meander for a little bit but further in it becomes more dense and intense as a variety of strange and otherworldly noises are introduced into the mix. Modulated pitches emit swirls and screams and rebounding bleeps and bloops that appear as though they are interacting with each other. As I listen I imagine the sound coming from a large mothership hovering above a city. As I described, there are a ton of sound to hear in the second track alone but throughout the span of the album Pigeon Breeders continually introduces something different, even if you are unsure of what the origin of the sound is. I think what is even more impressive is that Pigeon Breeders doesn’t simply stick to a certain set of sounds, they maintain their own identity through their playing style and consistency alone.
One of my favorite things about Pigeon Breeders is each members ability to play like a normal band, to turn these otherwise directionless, formless ambient / noise epics into more structural compositions by introducing instruments not normally prevalent in noise and ambient, specifically the drumming on ‘Garlands’ and ‘Light Clutter’ in which the band implements into their songs surprisingly well. The drums aren’t just thrown in either, Pigeon Breeders instead builds the other components of their music around them adding an additional level of familiarity to an otherwise alien mixture of sounds. Instead of playing like a normal band, with guitars that sound like guitars, synths that sound like synths, bass that sounds like bass, etc. they use their instruments to create sounds that the instrument wasn’t initially designed to create; in a way the band transcends the identity of a band in relation to their instruments and instead, like many ambient / noise musicians they ditch the whole idea of the musician behind the music by introducing familiar sounds that are unfamiliar within a specific genre.
There were moments on this album were I was feeling bored. I was impressed and constantly intrigued by the first half of the album, it all felt so dense and at the same time airy and expansive but after ‘Light Clutter’ a lot of what I heard didn’t really do much for me, the rest of the album felt static, it lacked the energy that I craved from earlier in the album which is unfortunate considering how strong the album was up until that point. This is a good release from a young group that simply lacks a little polish. The trio creates organized movements of sound that remain complex and spontaneous in nature, it is as though they are not being composed by a group of musicians but by a body of advanced machinery or a piece of futuristic technology; that of which is the raw collective sounds of metal rubbing against metal, hissing and screeching, and low hums juxtaposed by high orbital sirens that surround the listener making it apparent that this release is just as much a visual experience as it is an audible one.
Overall rating: 7.4
Favorite Track: ‘Urban Decay’, ‘Garlands’
Recommended: The sounds of an alien space craft flying overhead.
Released: 17 March 2012