Remaining faithful to her influences of Germanic märchen tales, Eastern European children’s cinema and mechanical pop music, Jane Weaver expands her critically acclaimed Fallen By Watchbird concept album in this ten chapter sequel-of-sorts by employing a cast of new actors and narrators to reinterpret her surreal “cosmic aquatic folklore” 12 months after the first installment. Here Jane experiments with volks-music in its purest most innocent form using modern tools to re-tell and recycle second hand stories. Inspired by post-war cinematic interpretations and hand-me-down mistranslations of global folk tales Jane has collaborated with a close-knit group of musicians, noisemakers and vocalists/narrators to create automatic-music and re-illuminate an eleven-page novella about telepathy, technology, lost-love, wiccan, war and watchbirds.
As part of ongoing voice and electronic experiments with the people behind Pre-Cert Records The Watchbird Alluminate includes a wordless vocal introduction and interlude from both Demdike Stare and the elusive Anworth Kirk while the spoken-word narrative of Finders Keepers’ lost American pop folk singer Susan Christie is reinterpreted by Ghostbox’s Focus Group with results comparable to Ruth Whites 1968 electronic/vox interpretations of Baudelaire’s Flowers Of Evil. Jane’s own Bird Records label roster contributes two new cover versions of Weaver’s self-penned tracks re-sung by Italian singer Emma Tricca and Rochdale’s time-slipped falsetto soloist Magpahi (in a track evokes cinematic scenes from Night Of The Hunter or The Innocents). Elsewhere vintage soft-pop royalty appears in the form of a lead vocal from Wendy & Bonnie’s, Wendy Flower, a close friend and confidant of Jane’s since their first collaborations in New York and London in 2006 at the request of Jarvis Cocker for his guest curation at the Meltdown festival. Other lead performances from Weaver add a new poetic twist to the story in both solo capacity and alongside Samandtheplants’ Sam McLoughlin whose Supernatural Lancashire library project (with Alison Cooper) from 2010 still resonates as one of the finest new releases of last year.
With a unique approach to making non-linear mechanical music this pop-up collective adds a further creative perspective to the oft mistreated “concept album” virtually eliminating genre distinction in favour of communal noise – a unique product of genuinely independent music in 2011 which continues to sprout further branches.