Tag Archives: animal rights

Wildlife Electronica: A Review Of A Lake By The Moon’s ‘Life In Warp’

“Life in Warp,” the debut album from A lake by the mõõn, a.k.a. Duarte Eduardo, is an opportunity to rethink what it means to be “socially conscious” when it comes to music. In what strikes the ear first as swathes of digitally manipulated noise and vaguely industrial, futuristic electronic free-balling, “Life in Warp” affords its listener a vivid and disorienting experience haunted by the sounds of a wide array of endangered animals from around the globe. That’s right—each and every byte of sound on the album, Eduardo states, “was created from field recordings of living beings that are, or have been, endangered since the beginning of the Anthropocene.” The result is something like wildlife-electronica—replete with walrus beats and humpback whale drones—but is so much more serious, devastating, and deferential. Everything you hear was already in some way first uttered by beings whose lives and ecosystems have been under extreme siege for decades, even centuries. Rarely is one’s listening experience shaped by such an unexpectedly potent sense of urgency, loss, and motivation to change your life and protect what remains. Proving that activist music can take any stance or form, what is most significant on “Life in Warp” is precisely this emotional resonance of knowing that all of these sounds came from someone in danger. Someone who, for now, may or may not still exist amidst our exploitative stranglehold on the Earth’s ecosystems.

The Red panda, endangered because of loss of habitat and poaching, is one of the animals whose voice is sampled on the album.

The sheer effort required for such a cohesive sounding project of bioacoustic eco-futurism is staggering from a technical perspective, as is the task of isolating something like a “beat” and building around it subtle modulations and layers of accompaniment from literally dozens of different animals. When experimental music can take the voices of endangered wildlife and lodge them in your brain with rhythmic, pulsing fervor—an achievement especially prevalent on “Solarpunk” and “Utopia o caralho!”—you know you have arrived in a truly compelling landscape. As a wildlife conservationist myself, hearing this level of sincerity and intentionality lifts my spirits and gives me encouragement about ways of moving forward gracefully in this shrinking bestiary we’ve made of the world. It can be a simple and profound gift to encounter other wild souls who strive, as A lake by the mõõn’s Bandcamp page reads, “to manifest against the narratives of fatalism and of fake hopes.” This bizarre record of electronically manipulated animal sounds is real in the realest sense, and is, despite the serious overtones, an exercise in radical playfulness.

The Bornean orangutan is critically endangered because of deforestation, palm oil plantations, and hunting.

And, of course, Shouts! out to the following contributors with whom we stand in unwavering solidarity: walruses, giant sable antelopes, humpback whales, Bornean orangutans, albatrosses, Atlantic puffins, greater sage-grouse, Amur leopards, Malayan tigers, polar bears, Japanese meagre, gracile chimpanzees, Fortescue grunters, Asian and African elephants, wattled curassows, Galapagos carpenter bees, beluga whales, royal penguins, common eiders, golden frogs, Oaxaca hummingbirds, red pandas, hyenas, Asian lions, Mexican wolves, kakapos, red wolves, northern lapwings, Pernambuco pygmy owls, Karthala scops owls, Aruba island rattlesnakes, sea otters, Aldabra giant tortoises, Atlantic salmon, golden bamboo lemurs, mountain gorillas, saiga antelopes, and the Kauai O’o bird.

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New EP From A Duo Exploring Humanity And Dehumanisation

“Not sure who I am or who I’m meant to be”…

Internalised is the EP’s first track and behind acoustic guitars, Naz and Ella beautifully cover the topic of queerphobia. From there we hear the duo sing about sexual harassment, the exotification of women of color, speciesism as well as the ups and downs of long-distance relationships.

Their music is something that transcends me to a dim place, with candlelights. I imagine a setting like the Alice In Chains MTV Unplugged concert. Naz and Ella have a lot to say, about a lot of things, but they do so without alienating others in their lyrics. The beautiful part about their music is that their anger can be heard at the same time as their empathy can be felt.

In true DIY fashion, the duo also released a zine on their Bandcamp page which explains more about their personal essays and their music. Check it out!

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New Compilation Album Donates All Proceeds To Toronto Based Animal Rescue Operation

Ambient, drone, and other experimental electronic music might not be what comes to mind when you think of protest music. But the world is not always just as flat as that. In the past, Shouts has covered electronic music and interviewed field recording artists who all use their talents to better the world.

Sometimes music and art can serve an additional function although the music itself is perhaps not made in protest. The latest compilation album from Toronto-based Polar Seas Recordings contains 23 tracks, all donated by the artists in support of All Creatures Rescue (which operates in the same city). This shelter is a wonderful initiative that might seem unusual to some who look through their page of animals available for adoption. Not many shelters have rats and other rodents available for adoption but the fact is that pet stores around the world sell all sorts of animals without proper responsibility or education for the buyers. So very often it happens that animals are thrown away after a few days when people understand that they don’t know how to take care of them. This is as much a fault of breeders as it is the fault of these stores.

The founder of Polar Seas Recordings, Brad Deschamps, told me that this is the second time he has released a compilation album in support of animals and rescue organisations.

“I’ve been vegan for about 5 years, vegetarian before that, have 2 cats and am an animal lover generally. So the label has been a great way to donate to a cause that’s important to me.” – Brad Deschamps

Brad’s 2 cats are also from an animal shelter in Toronto and his vegetarian friend, Clara Engel, helped organize this collaboration with the before mentioned shelter. Brad explained to me how it’s important for him to use the opportunities he is given to give back to the society:

“I think it’s great when given the opportunity to try to give back to causes that you believe in. I’ve made some great friends through the label and most of them are pretty keen to donate a piece for a good cause as well. I feel a connection somehow between this kind of music and empathy, music that’s soothing or relaxing but also engaging. I know many musicians who are environmentalists, animal lovers, etc.”

Please check out the album below and let this music sweep you away into another state of mind where hopefully you find the empathy to donate a small amount to the welfare of all creatures.

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