"In ‘Birds All Night (Real Live Birds Vol.1)’, Beylis lays down an evocative tapestry of avian sonics, combining bird calls she’s recorded herself with others played from cassettes and manipulated through pedals, while occasional percussion and tape interventions add texture and dynamic heft. Produced for this year’s Colour Out of Space festival in Brighton, with a selection of hand-made covers created by ‘the gonks of CooS’ its gorgeousness is matched only by its simplicity.
And when the source material is this good, who needs complicated anyway? Across just over half and hour, Beylis treats us to a beguiling mix of exuberant, jewel-like chirrups, mysterious hoots, full-throated warbles, swirling cacophonies and much more besides. Processing is subtle, usually touches of reverb and delay to give things a bleary, trippy feel.
Beylis inserts herself gradually into these bucolic scenes. Early sections are thoughtful but never tentative, with scattered thumps and hollow clonks darting into the lulls and then rumbling up against the chatterings for some low-key argy-bargy. Things get spookier as abstract tape squelches creep into the tranquil vibe. But it’s never intrusive, instead setting the scene for an extended bout of ornithological hauntology – or hauntological ornithology? – in which the voices of fanciers, scientists and spotters echo through the pastoral scene.
Although initially this seems nostalgic, Beylis’ aural patchwork has a much bleaker undercurrent. With bird populations around the world suffering massive decline due to habitat loss, and extermination of the insects that provide essential their food sources, Beylis’ disembodied commentary can’t help but summon the ongoing terror of extinction, evoking a future in which all we can do is listen, hopelessly, to these long-dead songs as we stare into an empty sky." - Paul Margree, We Need No Swords
Second Edition Limited to 30 copies
Sofia Records 010
released May 20, 2019
The scratching, peeking, landing, fluttering of the birds of Drumnadubber.