I don't know why, but for me music often equates to animals and Pullhair Rubeye is like following a pack of monkeys underwater. How am I going to explain that? I don't know if there is a real explanation but that's what it sounds like: monkeys swimming. I can just imagine some documentary film following one completely submerged so that the submerged echoes muddy the field recording as a beautiful melody provides the backdrop to the narrators description of the animal (I have been watching too many Planet Earth DVDs). Pullhair Rubeye is the figurative and literal love child of Avey Tare from Animal Collective and Kria Brekkan of Múm who were recently married. The album provides a kind of playful, primal innocence that is just unavoidably enjoyable. Pullhair Rubeye has also received an unfortunate scarlet letter because the album was released entirely in reverse. I understand that some people may be irritated at the fact that they may never hear the type of record they wanted out of these two musical master minds but I honestly believe that the result of this decision was inspired. The garbled vocals add another layer to the innocent/childlike appeal of the album. It has become very apparent that Avey Tare is the responsible member for this exciting element shared in Animal Collective's recordings. Obviously, listening to this record, it being in reverse and all, is going to provide a different listen then most but if you let yourself sink in you will find yourself floating down the beautifully relaxing river, flanked by monkeys on all sides!
....no, that's not your expected reaction to this unusual album...these are lyrics from these songs...that's right. I said lyrics.
Given my admiration for the previous works of K. Valtysdottir and disappointment from her suddenly abandoning the "spotlight" for bit parts (Slowblow, Mice Parade) I think this work deserves more attention than this release will gain it.
The differing opinions on Amazon all contain part of the picture...I first heard the (released) reversed version and thought it was hypnotic and good late night music. But as noted this effect is best in gauged doses as the "novelty" impression grows thin quickly. Then I obtained the forward original version.
Wow, really different...this album should have been released with the reversed as additional tracks or second disk. This is really acoustic and lyrical in nature and very akin to early Mum (Broken Birdie Records) with an Animal Collective sensibility (Leaf House) - it comes across as unpolished versions of fragile, pretty memoirs. "Sis Around the Sandmill" and "Sasong" are especially cohesive and realized, granted all these tracks should have been balanced and mixed better.
If you take the reverse version as the yang to the original yin songs, it has an entirely different feel - everything acoustic has translated into electronic musique concrete sounds, burbling and percolating like Aphex Twin's ambient works. Taken in entirety, as it might have been released, it is an ambitious and still pleasing venture.
I imagine I'll listen to FWD far more often than REV, and hope for future releases with Kristin again prominent in the vocal core (FYI Mum fans newest release "Smilewound" is getting closer...but not there yet...)
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Pullhair Rubeye is an extremely beautiful and touching piece of art. Touching at truths deeper than most listeners are willing to follow. This album took passion and courage to release. Also of interest, if you put this album in your computer and reverse every song, you can see that while it first sounds like a complexly composed electronic work, it is actually just a folk, acoustic album which has been reversed and released to the public. Both the forwards and backwards versions of the album are incredible, so it's like buying two albums for the price of one!
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Remember these old tape of yours, which your car stereo messed up and suddenly you were listening to them in reverse? It was fascinating for 5 minutes but than you got sick of it and switched it off. That is what happens here, putting a whole album reverse is just pointless. You could take any album and it sounds interesting for a few minutes. To bad these two wonderful musicians did not come up with something more creative. For me this looks like they decided that the album is not very good forward and than they tried to attract interest by releasing it reversed.