(2012 Album Review) Kiko C. Esseiva- Drôles d’Oiseaux

Kiko C. Esseiva is a composer based in Switzerland whose work falls in the mode of musique concrète after Luc Ferrari. His 2012 work Drôles d’Oiseaux, off Bern’s Hinterzimmer Records, will be a pleasant surprise to those searching for sound art on the level of textural and narrative diversity of the European classics.

But what is this strange comedy of birds, after all? It is, perhaps, something detachedly amused with the world, yet warm-hearted, and punctuated occasionally with a soaring pathos that stubbornly insists to never overstays its welcome. Weird phantoms weave in and out of the fabric of mundane settings, like strangely hilarious associations one finds in ordinary things and people for seemingly no reason. There are flirtations with music fleshed out with acoustic instrumentation, most notably on the sprawling “Je Vole”, that serve to continue the trajectory of a reverie until the next one is birthed. The soft colors of humming sound synthesis, acoustic instruments, murmuring voices, and environmental ambience are never disturbed much by odd spikes in the road like a woman’s shrill scream or spattering patches of noise. Listeners in search of electronic music with a certain surreal irreverence very much rooted in the everyday will find a lot to chew on here.

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