LISTENING ROOM: Avey Tare and Kria Brekkan Go In Reverse on Pullhair Rubeye
By: Corey Tate
As the all of the Internet freakout about the new Pullhair Rubeye album starts to subside, it's time to listen to a track. Seems as some finicky Internet indie pessimists were all up in arms about the fact that this album was actually released in reverse, rather than its forward state as had been heard in live settings previous to its release.
In the user-generated world of the web, every soapbox naysayer jumps up to say nay, and some are having a field day with this album, calling it a joke, a copout, and my personal favorite -- a gimmick (as if the Animal Collective people actually needed a gimmick to get by at this point).
And how does it sound? Otherworldly. Transcending. Different. Most pessimists are claiming that it's not that hard to make music go backward, so why call this experimental... I say why not. Experimental doesn't have to be about difficulty ratings, it's perhaps about taking chances. Releasing a backwards album is taking a chance, if not for the reason that as an artist you're going to have to waste a lot of time defending the decision to release it backwards to all of the naysayers. And the Chipmunks comparison... where does that come from?
On the Animal Collective Message Board, Avey Tare made the following post to try and set the record straight, "Its not really an issue of prefering the songs backwards. Its more of the fact that this is a release we wanted to put out. It has a foreign/other quality and as you said nice warm ambient quality that we like. I wouldnt really say its a noise record. Ive put tons and tons of work into songs noone will ever hear why should it stop me from doing what i want with them. its just because you guys know the songs and can even hear them reversed on your computers that makes you have all these confused thoughts."
In the olden days of yore, it was called tape masking. Play a tape backwards, and you could hear messages from the devil. There were rumors of Ozzy Osbourne, the Beatles, and even Cheap Trick hiding exaltations to the lord of the deep in their music. Did any of these accusers actually consider how difficult it would be to have a song sound normal when played forward while actually hiding satanic messages in them when played backwards? Of course not. Rumors were pretty far fetched before the Internet gave us all a place to centrally locate the truth. It's a good thing rumors don't happen on the Internet. Ahem.
So with that in mind, Avey Tare (Dave Portner) of Animal Collective has teamed up with his woman, Kria Brekkan (Kristin Anna Valtysdottir), to create a new musical project called Pullhair Rubeye. It's a collection of songs they worked really hard on. It was laid out in their practice space in Brooklyn, as the story goes, and then put to recording in upstate New York by a friend and said friend's two-track recorder, that was bought for a dollar at a garage sale. It doesn't get much more analogue than that. You can hear the song, in the as of right now backwards state, by listening to it in the Galaxy Media Player up above. If you dig it, you can get an MP3 copy below. When the album comes out, you can find out if the backwards craziness is a demo-only thing.