Somnambule - Writing About Music

Pimmon ~ Secret Sleeping Birds

The opening track on Secret Sleeping Birds is an unsettling experience because Want To Fly Away sounds literally haunted. It’s as if voices and wordless pleas for help are woven into the warp and weft of the track’s tingling static. The effect is reminiscent of the scene in Poltergeist when spirits appear in the white noise on the family television set. Whether Pimmon’s souls are lost or seeking the sustenance of soulfood is unclear, but at the time of writing they haven’t managed to escape the CD. Although finally subsumed in the last half minute, the child-like rhythmelody that marches determinedly through Bird Cage Circus is an altogether more friendly affair and sets the tone for much of the rest of the album. Feather Prophet is awash with a morphing chorus of warbles that might just have been captured inside a pigeon loft. Whether the higher-pitched note or the bassier one is the titular prophet, who knows, but the possibility of projecting life into these electronic pieces becomes increasingly attractive as the album progresses.

Music is music – as Depeche Mode or Laibach might have sung, except that it’s never just been that. Popular music has always been about much more than just the notes. However, electronic music can often seem solipsistic, to the point of suffering from emotional autism. In this context, Pimmon’s playfully anthropomorphic titles invite a degree of personal engagement that enriches the experience of his work. Titles alone are not enough, of course, and the music thankfully plays its suggestive part to the full. Pimmon explores a space between such suggestion and an electronic realisation that is ultimately highly poetic. The eleven pieces here are saturated with whole flocks of coos, pecks, chirps and squawks. Secret Sleeping Birds describes an avian world that is simultaneously familiar and alien. In doing so, it offers up a highly engaging and notably haunting flight of the imagination.

Colin Buttimer
February 2006
Published by e/i Magazine