A thread for HOWIE LEE's sublime, genre-spanning Chinese folk/prog/jazz/Balearic/grime opus 'BIRDY ISLAND'

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There's a lot going on here, but it never feels busy or like it's trying too hard.
Some hark-backs to Cornelius's "Point" album and maybe even Tortoise's "Standards", but it sounds like it couldn't have come out at an earlier time than this year

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 12:38 (one year ago) link

Yes! Haven't gotten a chance to fully get into this one but his 7 Weapons Series was one of my favorites last year.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 14:56 (one year ago) link

I haven't heard the earlier stuff but it's meant to be quite different from this

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 15:06 (one year ago) link

Yeah, this is lovely but definitely different than I expected. Like, I was expecting a pretty electronic album compared to the club tracks on the last one, but not all the live (?) instruments and folk/prog elements.

It reminds me of a lot of things but especially Scott Herren/Savath y Savalas right now.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 15:27 (one year ago) link

while we're here: it really fucks me off that the first Savath & Savalas album isn't on Spotify. Puts a gaping hole of desire in a lot of my instrumentals playlists

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 15:29 (one year ago) link

This album is blowing my mind right now, thanks for the heads up! Truly worldbuilding stuff. I'm going to have to really dive into this person's work.

OneSecondBefore, Thursday, 29 April 2021 02:52 (one year ago) link

Yeah I love this album.

Tim F, Thursday, 29 April 2021 07:43 (one year ago) link

this is fantastic morning fun

nxd, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 09:33 (one year ago) link

loving these soundscapes and vibes so far

the name sounded familiar: he was one of Lafawndah’s collaborators on the Ancestor Boy II remix album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLNiDxO-QDM
Lafawndah • JOSEPH X HOWIE LEE REWORK

(second time I namechecked that album this week, what are the odds)

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 11:01 (one year ago) link

This is so great, it really did work as a weekend morning record (and my partner usually has me turn off anything with a hint of loopy repetitiveness, which speaks to this record's constantly shifting musicality).

I'd love to know how he recorded certain tracks, or what the mixture of samples to recorded parts is. Also really need to go check out his earlier records.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 10 May 2021 21:27 (one year ago) link

Arrived yesterday.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 05:32 (one year ago) link

Deliberately not streaming this till I get my copy

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 09:16 (one year ago) link

Thanks for starting this thread dl this is really cool stuff that I never would have come across otherwise. Having gone and listened to some of his earlier material, it's a more straight mix of Chinese folk and club music, some of which is pretty good but a fair amount did little for me. The new one's definitely a cut above, lovely soundscapes.

your passion oozzes from the (ultros ultros-ghali), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 13:22 (one year ago) link

Seconded. I had never heard anything quite like it. I ordered the CD after one listen.

I Advance Masked (Vast Halo), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 19:55 (one year ago) link

This album is compelling in its meandering. Maybe once I get more acquainted with the tracks I'll discover a stronger internal logic but honestly, I hope not.

lukas, Friday, 14 May 2021 20:41 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

Listening to 2019's Tiān Dì Bù Rén today, it's excellent. It's based around traditional Chinese instrumentation but way more beat-oriented than Birdy Island. It doesn't have quite as much of that blurred quality that makes me wonder if something is played, sampled, or programmed, but it's definitely there.

https://howielee.bandcamp.com/album/ti-n-d-b-r-n

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 18:44 (eleven months ago) link

wow this is really cool

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 21:07 (eleven months ago) link

Looked up some interviews and confirmed for myself that he does in fact play drums on some of the records, and stringed instruments. And obviously a lot of it is programmed using sample libraries as well, but the blend gives it that special touch.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 21:10 (eleven months ago) link

yeah this is my favorite EOY poll discovery so far

I definitely hear some similarities to Eyvind Kang's more orchestral works (Narrow Garden and Virginal Coordinates in particular)

bad milk blood robot (sleeve), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 21:12 (eleven months ago) link

(xp to UMS)

bad milk blood robot (sleeve), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 21:12 (eleven months ago) link

xp I love The Narrow Garden <3

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 9 February 2022 09:59 (eleven months ago) link

this is interesting, it reminds me a bit of that Meitei album Kwaidan from a while back: https://meitei.bandcamp.com/album/kwaidan with the caveat that Kwaidan is based on Japanese, not Chinese folk music

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Wednesday, 9 February 2022 10:36 (eleven months ago) link

i think this is partly a factor of my ignorance but this feels so unique, so distinctive, i don't know if i could even describe it to someone. it's so alive, so inventive....really a knockout.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 9 February 2022 15:10 (eleven months ago) link

eight months pass...

These guys must be friends? https://anti-general.bandcamp.com/

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Monday, 31 October 2022 15:31 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

New EP in Birdy Island mode: https://howielee.bandcamp.com/album/event-fact-and-those-which-are-emphasized

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 20 January 2023 17:36 (two weeks ago) link


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