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Bitte Orca CD cover

BITTE ORCA • Dirty Projectors

Dave Longstreth's art-rock project Dirty Projectors has been steadily gaining a cult audience over this decade, but with Bitte Orca the project is hitting fever pitch, with rave reviews from Pitchfork to NPR.

Perhaps a bit easier on the ears than the cacophonic, world-musics inspired Rise Above, Bitte Orca is tighter in every way while building on the same experimental polyphonic harmonies and international beats that made Rise Above an instant classic. Longstreth again employs Angel Deradoorion's clear soprano to great effect. Indeed the female harmonies and, in some instances, lead vocals are the trademarks of the album. The symphonic "Two Doves" features only Deradoorion alongside simple orchestration and gently plucked guitar. It's a stark contrast to the beats-driven "Stillness Is The Move," which finds Deradorion nearly rapping, ahh-aah  and ooh-ooh-oohing to a fusion of 80s synth beats and a high pitched African-styled guitar refrain all framed by female harmonies that, at times, recall Mariah Carey's signature upper register coos.

Opener "Cannibal Resource" resembles signature tracks of Rise Above. Here Longstreth's wails are punctuated by three-part female cascading wordless harmonies, the guitar is heavily filtered, and the track overflows with all sorts of Afro-pop instrumentation.   

Another standout track is "No Intention," which smartly juxtaposes 1980s R&B against more Afro-pop, the two most prominent influences on Bitte Orca. Otherworldly dance music, dystopian symphonies, lounge music for an alternate universe, the descriptive phrases could go on and on without quite perfectly describing the beautiful chaos of Dirty Projectors. For anyone who hasn't yet gotten on the bandwagon, Bitte Orca is a perfect time to start. • Katy Henriksen

Dirty Projectors

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