Friday, April 2, 2010

OOPs: Songs Of The Humpback Whale (Capitol, 1970)

Tower Whales

From what I've read, these are some of the first recorded whale songs. And I paid 50 cents for this at a mansion-sized antique store.

This record works 2 ways, as I find most vintage field recording type records do. The first (and obvious) one is: this is what humpback whales sound like. Underwater. Talking and shit.

Then there's the eventual comparison to human music. You might automatically jump to the drone parallel, and you'd be right. Plenty of the sounds on this record fall under the ambient drone category. But there's also music that I never would have imagined sounds like whales. Minimal analog synth? TONS of that on here. Blips and bloops galore. Fuck, whales are like the original masters of early electronic music. There's also inklings of low end doom and tape manipulation. And I'm not even stretching with these comparisons, this is just what's glaringly obvious to me.

What blows my mind is that whales have made sounds like this for centuries (I assume) and we as humans made music that has so many similarities to it, before we even knew what it was. Mid 20th century electronic & tape music was being created well before those composers knew what whale songs were. I bet they'd be pretty pissed if someone told them, "Dudes, you think you're the first? Whales have been doing this for, like, EVER."



Parag said...

These days various types of electronic voices are used to produce a music score. I being a musician myself know this. And yes, whales have making music since their existence into this world.
Humpback whale

øשlqæda said...

google brought me here as i was about to post this fine slab on my own new fangled bloggish endeavor, but didn't want to step on anyone's toes. you beat me by a month so the glory is yours, along w/ everyone who downloads it. after taking a quick look around, i have no choice but to link u in the sidebar thingy for ease of traffic re-directing reference. uh, kindly feel free to do likewise should u find my efforts of late worthy of more wisespread scrutiny from thine own regular readers. also, any chance ya might post that insects folkways joint in its entirety here in the oop section? i dig learning about that kinda shite. & now, to download that latin seashell juju. thx antigravitybunny!
ps -

Anonymous said...

haha, funny, i was about to post this on my blog too. think i will go ahead and do it anyway. also, i found that it has been reissued on cd:

Cerys said...