Brian McBride – The Effective Disconnect

effective disconnect

The fact alone that Brian McBride is one of the founding core members of Stars of the Lid (along with Adam Wiltzie), is enough to raise a lot of interest about this new release on the Kranky label.
Or maybe I should say “buzz”, considering the documentary this soundtrack was created for.

Inevitably, this record bears the mark of Stars of the Lid music: the use of extended string chords combined with electronic, the melancholic, “lamentable” overall sound – anyone familiar with the Stars OTL will immediately recognize this.

But this is not a SOTL album: it is a Brian McBride solo-album (his second, following 2005’s “When the Detail Lost its Freedom).

And this means there are some noticeable differences, too.

Maybe the biggest differences is that there is much more ‘dynamic’ in the compositions as well as in the feeling they convey.
The Effective Disconnect is far less ‘minimal’ than most SOTL albums are, and the relatively short tracks are sometimes sounding hopeful. Although, as Brian states: ‘old traditions die hard and the hopeful side of the music is eventually more subsumed by the lamentable’.

There is in fact little hope, if we do not act soon.

This music is (a part of) the soundtrack for “The Vanishing of the Bees”, a documentary about Colony Collapse Disorder:  the alarming and frightening fact that entire bee colonies suddenly disappear – obviously caused by ecological imbalances.

A serious enough theme, to which McBride’s music perfectly fits.

But also apart from the documentary soundtrack context, this album has the same warm, well-balanced, almost luscious sound as most of Stars of the Lid albums. It can easily rank among the best of the post-classical (soundtrack) releases from artists like Max Richter and Johann Johannsson.

It should be heard, preferably by a lot more people than “just” the Stars of the Lid fans.

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