Birds of Prey b/w Paradise
Catalog #: AHE-07
Format: 7" Vinyl/Digital
Release date: 2010
A. Birds of Prey
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Birds of Prey
AHE-07 PSYCHOBUILDINGS – Birds of Prey b/w Paradise – 7”: $5
Birds of Prey is the debut offering from Brooklyn’s Psychobuildings, a group that started as a solo recording project by Peter LaBier (Precinct) and has since expanded to include Peter Schuette (Test House, Silk Flowers) on synths and Juan Pieczanski (Small Black) on electronic/live percussion and synths. Blending jam-based punk aesthetics with a laser focus on beat and melody, Psychobuildings recalls an era of music when pop, rock, and disco began fusing together to stir up new club sensations like hip-hop and new-wave. These touchstones have provided LaBier with a foundation for his own unique pop sensibilities.
The A side, “Birds of Prey”, merges the work of minimal synth pioneers The Human League with the hard funk loops of early hip hop stars like the Sugar Hill Gang. LaBier’s percussive vocal delivery on the track strides confidently in the mix, displaying a genuine love for rhyme scheme and catch-phrases. With twisted lines like “Birds of prey repopulate/in the privacy of shade machinations stray/warm blood’s dripping in the undertow” LaBier’s lyrics come to life, rather than lay flat like so much of today’s club oriented pop.
The B side “Paradise” might be the real party smash of 2010. It kicks off like the beginning of so many Michael Jackson hits, an electronic beat pulse and a shout to the devil followed by a funked up bass line worthy of Bootsy Collins. The hook is an instant classic, once it bites down it doesn’t let go until you’re ceaselessly humming along to the refrain “We all want to pretend we live forever/no paradise, no afterlife, no limbo!”. Despite the clean pop structure of the songs, the end result manages to sound both abstract and loose, especially with all the percolating sounds that buzz and swirl around the beat, courtesy of Silk Flowers’ synth master Peter Schuette. With Small Black’s Juan Pieczanski in the production chair, Psychobuildings has succeeded in creating a new hybrid, one that brings artfully crafted beats and hooks back to the dance floor.
-7″ vinyl comes with download card.
“Paradise” picks up the trail later, taking DNA from The Cure and Talking Heads and rinsing it in a psychedelic, glo-fi surf. It does fall into the ‘undeniably great’ category, however, so give it a whirl. Try something new! I promise you’ll love it.”
-Kev Kharas (RCRD-LBL)
“Rhythms bustle in competition for space while primary, pastel synths taper around like those streamers inside party poppers, and when Peter sings his words he sounds like a child confused by a dream he just woke up from…”
-Kev Kharas (Viceland)
“Rather than invoking the chart-busting high-drama of Eurythmics’ ilk mind, he opts for a dance floor dynamic that sounds like a late Eighties ‘jackin’-house style remix you’d get on the B-side to a David Byrne and Robert Smith collaborative single…”
-Jaimie Hodgson (NME)
“In between yelps and stream of consciousness lyrics sung over a chunky, looping beat, think of a New-Wave dance rock resurgence. Then think about how much sense it makes, and how good it actually is, and how good it would have sounded blasting out of your boom box in 1980s NYC. And then turn it up.”
“…what it would have sounded like if Suicide had been produced by Nile Rodgers, like super crisp and clear and still possibly insane but brain patters completely legible. Like “Ghost Rider” filtered through “Let’s Dance.”
-Peter Macia (The Fader)