By Summer Li
What if you had the luxury to stand in a tropical rainforest and hear all the intricacies of your surroundings? Bird of Prey’s new and third EP Dreamcatcher is the amplification of those sounds, an imaginative interpretation of what nature could sound like in motion. And clearly, some dubstep must be involved.
But since dubstep’s popularization in the past couple of years, the artists within the genre have homogenized and resorted to a standard: the heavier, the better, leaving less ingenuity in progressing the genre and the production of what was once a novelty. The complete and tiring saturation of certain heavy, uninspired dubstep tracks and remixes of popular songs has led us to boredom so it’s always a thrill to discover something fresh. There are few people nowadays left who make dubstep interesting and San Francisco producer Torin Goodnight (producing under the alias Bird of Prey) is one of them.
A dubstep producer is an understatement; Goodnight is rather a musical architect and his tracks are a clear reflection of his careful craft, intertwining what are indeed dubstep elements with a multitude of other elements.
Characteristic of the tracks on Dreamcatcher are the slow, ambient beginnings with clean ethereal melodies that only anticipate that first drop, the bass. Layering itself atop wind instruments (as in Kiva) and bongo drums (in Sonic Bloom, a personal favorite) makes it all very tribal, a sound reminiscent of ancient civilizations. When the bass does drop, finally settling itself into a slow groove, the dubstep rhythm comes to full force in a sonic fury, but is muted throughout the tracks. Yes the bass is thick, but not heavy and definitely easier on the ear. Just an example of how dubstep isn’t the main focus of each track for Bird of Prey since he is mixing it with so many other sounds. These other sounds, beneath the bass, stand as a foil to the jagged dubstep. They are recreations of sounds that could be found in nature: the chirps of small animals, the majestic flight of birds, and the calming flow of water. The entire EP is overwhelmingly organic for something as seemingly synthetic as the dubstep genre.
With delicately placed melodies and grungy basslines, Dreamcatcher captures the beauty of the rainforest while accelerating it through a time machine. It is what nature would sound like in motion.
Dreamcatcher EP is out now on Addictech Records.