Dirty Projectors & Bjork - Mount Wittenberg Orca

by Lewis Shepherd Rating:6.5 Release Date:2011-10-24

In 2009 Icelandic music sensation Bjork teamed up with experimental rock band Dirty Projectors for a charity concert of seven songs. A year later they stepped into the studio to record it and the result was the Mount Wittenberg Orca EP. Initially released in June of last year, four days after it was announced the collaborators finally decided to release the EP in its physical form.

When the album first started, I must admit I was little sceptical as the speakers began blurting out some sort of vocal harmonising with no music. "Here we go," I thought, "Another one of Bjork's crazy ideas, the swan dress being her craziest". However, as it began to play through I realised that this was in fact the beauty of the EP and strangely enough it works.

The record is a mix of minimal music, with the odd guitar and symbol coming in now and again, with vocal harmonising being the main form of backing music. Yes, it is very experimental and to be quite honest I don't think I've ever heard a record which focuses so heavily on the vocal harmonies as the main form of backing music, but it works so well, everyone involved must be applauded for that originality.

Obviously, Bjork's incredible vocal stands out even more than usual considering the lack of actual musical instruments or synths etc, but I must say the lead singer of Dirty Projectors stole the whole album. His alternative rock voice really envelopes you and draws you into this album and in my opinion his voice is the best and most surprising part.

Although the album can be applauded for its individuality and great vocal performances, it must be said that the harmonies in the background, though good, do get a little annoying at times, especially during 'On and Ever Onward' as they drown out Bjork's main vocal and leave you feeling as though you are missing something great. Some of the songs do begin to blend at points but with the combination of the male and female lead vocals throughout the tracks you can forgive them due to the great vocal performances.

All in all, the entire album was very good and a surprisingly interesting treat.

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