Offbeat elitist hipster-pop doesn't get much more up its own arse than this.
Bitte Orca is the fifth studio album by American experimental rock band Dirty Projectors, released on June 9, 2009, on Domino Records. The word "bitte" is a German word for "please", and "orca" is another name for a killer whale. Frontman David Longstreth states that he liked the way the words sound together. Longstreth notes that the music contained within the album "felt very [much] about colors, and their interaction," and that the music was written with the notion of the band, as a whole, in mind.Two of the album's tracks, "Temecula Sunrise" and "Cannibal Resource", appeared on the subsequent EP release, Temecula Sunrise, alongside two new songs.The album peaked at #65 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Independent Albums chart. As of April 4, 2012, the album has sold 85,000 copies in the U.S.Bitte Orca is the only studio album by the group to feature Angel Deradoorian as a full-time member.
Offbeat elitist hipster-pop doesn't get much more up its own arse than this.
I can usually be objective and I understand that just because I don't like a thing that someone somewhere might love it. Perhaps it's just not for me. This album, however, made me angry. It's so bad. So so bad. I can't even figure out what they're trying to do here. There's no cohesion, no atmosphere, no point. Awful stuff.
It's like Captain Beefheart pop
Please, killer whale? That is all this reviewer needed to confirm that this album is lost, befuddling, and an object lesson in being a waste of time. Perhaps this album is for musicians, or math-rockers inclined to scramble the brain for no reason other than they can. The pretentiousness that seems to ooze from this album and its compositions is infuriating to where the ears wanted to vomit. With all respect and seriousness, if a listener has to search for an album's intention or motivation, this qualifies as meaningless drivel. Art, such as the one seeming to be promoted here, is meant to challenge and inspire, hopefully to remain begrudgingly respected. This album is just crap, an inspiration for insult and dismissal. If that is the reaction aimed for, then spot on it is. If a band wants to experiment and play chords at random, then re-arrange all that into something that makes enough sense to get a record label to distribute their drivel, then this was it. Every member seems to do their own thing, and they are bad at it. The band is not without some semblance of talent, the whole thing just feels wasted, as though the mindless mashing of chords as a child was praised by over-supportive parents who then paid for a recording session that then was just trendy enough to be looked at as some sort of priceless abstract determined to be refreshingly different. Yes, it is different. Yes, it is not the usual fare one can expect from the so-called mainstream, but at least there we can hear music that is infuriating for better reasons for sounding too good and formulaic. This album is so bad it makes one want to defend pop and mainstream, and that is a bad thing.
OK, this was probably the strangest album yet. I have no idea how to start describing it. But I definitely really liked it a lot - without being able to describe why either. I have already saved the album to listen to it again another time. But first I'll just go straight ahead and listen to something else by Dirty Projectors. Update: I then spent the rest of the day listening to radio playlists based on Dirty Projectors and loved it all the way. Even though I still don't really know what kind of music this is.
I don't really get it. The album manages to be good, interesting, bad, and bland. Unfortunately, none of good parts are very interesting and all of the interesting parts are bad. The very best of the album sounds like it belongs on a better album.
Longstreth's voice sounds a bit strained on the first few cuts, but the compositions are intricate and the backing harmonies are delightful in stereo. Temecula Sunrise underlines the suburban angst with interjected "yeah"s. There's a prog-folk feel to first three songs, and they start in roughly the same way: minimal instrumentation and male vocals opening into movements and soundscapes. Stillness Is The Move is the proof that this is not the formula. It establishes that fact with its vamp. The sequencing continues to flow thanks to the string section linkage, until No Intention breaks the flow with a hint of a different kind of project altogether. The album ends with Longstreth in a halfway point between his early, more forced vocals and the more comfortable timbre of the couple preceding tracks. This time, he enters after an organ, and the song and album come to a close as the ideas on it come to fruition. I didn't expect something this accessible when I saw Trout Mask Replica comparisons, but this project earns it when its title is realized in lyrics.
I got slightly into Dirty Projectors around the time this was released. I don't listen to whole lot of indie rock anymore, and didn't even have a FLAC copy of this - so I guess it has been years since I revisited it. Damn, it's still good. I love the abstract songwriting and idiosyncratic delivery. I love the way layered voices are used, and I love how the music is crisp and precise, but carries a big sense of possibility, like they might go off in another direction any moment. Can't think of anything I would change about this, so 5/5.
sounds very generic, hard to understand why it made the list. maybe I am missing something.
What an absolutely infuriating listen with pretentiousness and dissonance in overflow. Absolute low-point is the useless hiphop beat in the middle of 'Useful Chamber' with equally useless spoken words(?).
I wish I’d discovered this album outside of this project, as one day is not enough to really rate and digest it. However, I think this is still a pretty clear 5 here; I love this creative and experimental indie.
Pretty tripped out actually and I ended up listening to a handful of the songs more than once
I really liked this album. I discovered this band relatively recently and liked their album with Bjork. I think the way the use the male and female voices is interesting
A great deal of this record is a guy singing in falsetto while two female voices do a weird "vocal hocketing" thing that I learned about today. Dirty Projectors is one of those art pop bands that think switching obscure time signatures in the middle of a song makes them worthy. Technical acumen is nice, but they occassionally forget to make the music listenable at the same time. Best track: Two Doves
Pretty art pop/rock. A bit meandering and it often feels like random harmonies and notes for the sake of it.
This is quite an attention grabbing bizarre album. This is almost a live 'jamming' session album, I couldn't really describe the genre, wiki calls it 'experimental rock' - experimental is right, rock - not so much, it's more modern classical folk singer-songwriter jazz? Anyway - there's lots of surprisingly elements, off key measures, tempo changes or skips - it could ALMOST be background easy listening music except for the injected surprise elements draw your attention back constantly. Unfortunately, not a fan of the singers - who sounds like a less controlled 'Mika' - high pitched, shaky, something I guess you need to get to like. I can understand the ideas behind the album, though it's not really to my personal taste.
Don’t tell the indie kids, but I think David Longstreth is a massive Steve Howe (Yes) fan. He laces Howe-isms in his guitar playing through out the record. If you don’t believe me, listen to the title track or “Temecula Sunrise”, if you’ve heard a few Steve Howe solos or enjoy Yes, it’ll hit you hard. Honestly, it’s pretty amazing, like if you dropped Steve Howe into Stereolab and it somehow worked. Ok, enough trying manipulate the generator into giving me a Yes record to review. (Serious about the Steve Howe thing, though). Bitte Orca separates itself from a lot of 2000/10’s indie rock with its complex, layered arrangements. It’s a daunting listen at first, but when it clicks, it’ll likely leave you wanting more. RIYL: “Point” by Cornelius, Steve Howe’s work in Yes.
Indie with a capital I. Not my thing.
This sounds like the kind of horrible jangly trash that dicks who work in record stores like to recommend just because it's obscure. Some music deserves obscurity.
What a disaster. No songs, just a guy pretending to have talent.
Life too short for this shit
Pretty much unlistenable the worst album I've ever heard.
It's just a horrible mess of crap songs, badly played, badly sung. it was basically unlistenable. To call this hipster pop is an insult to hipster pop.
This was bad. Felt like a punishment. Would vote this off the list.
Awful. Not even music.
Why is there a cat screaming in the first song? He was horribly out of tune in the bride. Why is this on the list?
What on earth was this?
The first album to cause me physical pain. After the first 2 songs I had to take a break, I felt like I was having knives shoved into my ears, I made it half way through the album and I regret not stopping sooner. Was not worth the migraines. 5/112
Very Yoko Ono-ish background vocals on the opening track, which at first were off-putting to me. But I decided to give it a shot and go deeper with an open mind. But no, I ended up absolutely, viscerally hating it. This is honestly one of the worst albums I have ever heard in my life. It can be characterized in one word: noise. Self-indulgent noise. I just don't get it at all. This album is the equivalent of an Ohio transplant who moved to Brooklyn to "discover" Crown Heights and now refuses to shop anywhere but Buffalo Exchange for his clothes. If you know, you know. Oddly mixed as everything is LOUD. All the sounds are competing with one another. It's an inharmonious, cacophonous disaster that should not be listened to with headphones lest you want to blow your hearing. The singer sounds like he's doing a half-rate Tiny Tim impression, the background singers shout over him, there are random claps interspersed everywhere, the music often changes key and time signature, and almost every song starts out slower and then has a "drop the beat" moment. It's just a mess. I bet when they were making this album, they were like "Fuck yeah! This sounds cool!" and nobody wanted to say otherwise. Because it truly doesn't. Offbeat hipster nonsense that is way too far up its own ass. Awful album. Right in the trash.
thought it was pretty cool
Great band. Saw this album played in person in Dallas. Still love it.
Reeeally nice. It reminds me of tune yards a lot
Loved it when I was 14, still love it now.
This is a great experimental indie album, reminds me of Discovery. A big fan of some of the strange cadences and the colorful sound.
Mellow melodies, soft voices, a good indie album
Noticed one of the songs form 2k13 lol but really enjoyed the album!
Try it, you'll like it!
I listed to it many times in a row.
I couldn’t get into the earlier Dirty Projectors releases, but Bitte Orca was one of my favorite releases of 2009. The songs were more conventional in structure than past works but maintained the eclectic playfulness that Dirty Projectors was known for. While there is a lot going on throughout the release, it somehow is all grounded. Well done.
Awesome album! Very unique, vocals are different but fit the feel very well. Loved it.
crazy good alternative album just a 10/10 for creativity alone actually amazing
I listened to this a lot when it came out. It didn't sound like anything i was listening to at the time. I loved it then and i love it now.
The mix is crisp and creates nice separation while bringing elements forward as punctuation or focal points. Strings, electronics, and acoustic guitar all work together. The harmonized backup vocals are inventive and unique. Lots of flavor of world music African guitar and beats. Vampire Weekend influence for obvious reasons (roots in Ali Farka Touré?). Vocals have similarities to Jeff Buckley, or is that just me?
One of my favorite indie rock albums of all time. 2009 the GOAT year. The guitar and vocal harmonies on this one are chef’s kiss.
Stillness is the Move is one of my favourite songs, but I’ve never listened to the other songs on this album. I really like the unique sound of the whole album, I’ll definitely be revisiting this album. 5/5
Lush, complicated, fresh
Very cool freak folk record
Excellent album by Dirty Projectors. Some people say the vocals are like soap, but I love this dude, and the abstract sounds they're putting out.
Another great album from an indie rock band I didn't know. Keep them coming!!
Very into this. Cool indie vibe with catchy melodies and pretty vocals.
REALLY COOL MAN
didn’t really need to be on this list but cool. liked it more when listened twice.
Very chill and soothing. Not an every day listen.
A lovely album. I can't put my finger on what is so unique about them, but they just seem to have a way of composing and writing that is unexpected, unusual, and appealing to me.
Great album, always fun to listen to this unique band.
Wonderfully quirky and inventive. I think The Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear were two of the best indie acts of the early 2000s. Like any offbeat and complex works it’ll take a few lessons to grow on me but then it’s gonna stick for a long time, unlike the formulaic pop on mainstream radio
Un disco con popurrí de canciones, parecen inconexas. Pero las canciones están bien. Folk, africano, inde, Rufus... popurrí.
Experimental music can be very very good or can miss the mark completely. This is the former. Reminiscent in places of a Zaireeka-era Flaming Lips and a more polished Deerhoof, which is very much my jam. I'd never heard of Dirty Projectors before, but enjoyed this enough to want to check out more of their back catalogue. If it is as good as this, I will be in for a treat, but suspect 'hit and miss' may go with the genre... 4/5.
"I think you're more than a terrified witness Behind the arbitrary line" (Cannibal resource) "On top of every mountain There was a great longing For another even higher mountain In each city longing for a bigger city" (Stillness is the move) Pues bastante bien, me gustan mucho las letras y el arte es muy bonito.
Klinkt als wat ik al luister. Leuke rock :)
Surprisingly good album from a band I've never heard of!
even the most accessible dirty projectors is probably fairly niche. regardless, i think i probably love this album. i love the weird time shit he does.
This really captures a particular area of indie pop for me. I've heard it before and will listen again.
а ниче прикольно так
Truly a first listen for me, probably my first album on the list that I really didn't have much context on. Like, heard of the band before, had some sort of indie rock context, but that's it. And, I'm liking it - a good surprise. Not sure how much I'll want to stick with it over time, but I could see it growing on me (the way Of Montreal's "Hissing Fauna.." did, or could see it getting old. But, for now, I like the layered vocals, the mix of soft and hard, the general feel of orchestration to the whole thing.
Funky style, I really enjoyed it.
Reading the reviews I thought this was going to be pretentious rubbish, but it was actually enjoyable.
Good indie music
Chaotic eclectic sporadic fun. Build ups followed by sudden drops. Smooth guitar work interrupted perfectly by the crash of a cymbal then followed by intentional offbeat drum solos and it all works. Wonderfully unintelligible cannons and echos and dynamic duets between two strong vocalists. Bold new sound seems right here and I will definitely seek them out for more like this. Very unique sound. Cannibal resource, Temecula sunrise, remade horizons, stillness is the move
I've heard of the Dirty Projectors, but I wasn't sure if I've heard any of their music. I've probably heard at least one of their Tiny Desk Concerts. I wasn't sure if "Stillness Is the Move" was a track I've heard before, or if some of the sounds used on the record just remind me of other music. Most of the album felt that way - new music to me but with hints of sounds I've heard before. This isn't bad. The album was put together in a way that I think that it qualifies as a potential re-listen of the whole album.
Flaps around more than an erotic bat, yet somehow appealing. Most songs went places unexpectedly, which I like. One song in particular had off-key singing, was not a fan
Didn't like temecula sunrise, but the rest of the album turned it around for me.
The first album and group that was completely new to me on this list. I enjoyed it as something fresh and different.
Lots of melodic and rhythmic unpredictability on this one. Interesting vocals and instrumentation, too. Sometimes it's really interesting and fun and sometimes it's hard work to listen. I loved Cannibal Resource, particularly the backing vocals and the guitar in the instrumental section mid-song. I loved Stillness is the Move, including the title (this is a band that likes a juxtaposition I think). Two Doves sounds like contemporary musical theater (that's a compliment coming from me) and contains the line, "But our bed is like a failure." And Remade Horizon is really great, again with the hooty backing vocals that I find so charming. Most of the rest didn't really work for me. Temecula Sunrise has extremely pedestrian, extremely depressing lyrics. ("Definitely you can come and live with us. I know there's a space for you in the basement, yeah. All you gotta do is help out with the chores and dishes." Poetic in its banality? Actually, kind of yes.) In The Bride, the handclaps after the line, "no one has any good reason to live," were...surprising. I'm giving this one a 4 because the songs I love, I really love, and I am giving them each a star.
What is this? And how can I get slightly more but not a lot more than this?
A defining sound of the late 00s, much like Vampire Weekend, Acade Fire etc
Somewhere in the early 2010's, a "facts" page in Facebook once boasted: Japanese scientists have created an MRI machine that can record your dreams and reconstruct them for you to watch while you're awake. And that made me think: considering the illogical and very, very weird stuffs that we see, do, and experience in our sleep-worlds, what could we watch if such MRI machine exists. And more importantly, how will we REACT? But apart from images, our brains actually created SOUNDS too. And of course, the sounds isn't any less weird. A lot of people are probably aware of those non-existent symphonies and synths and voices screaming random words like opera singers. I experience such music when I am about to sleep or about to wake up. And thinking about the fact that my skills in music stuff is zero, I guess that EVERYONE'S brain creates unique music too. My point is, what if instead of recording what we see in our dreams, we record what we HEAR in our dreams? What would we hear? Well, in 2009, some people who call themselves "Dirty Projectors" made a pretty convincing impression of those weird dream-music. They called this album "Bitte Orca". Please killer whale. And hearing those while awake? Weird. Weird. And weird. And perhaps I would have the same reaction if I saw my dreams in that MRI machine. I would see all the eccentric adventures and the illogical stuffs in it. I would find it weird. And this is how I describe "Bitte Orca". Surreal lyrics, unpredictable sounds, and tense yet fun overall atmosphere. It's dream music (no, not the Minecraft YouTuber). It reminds me why I love dreaming. It is where we temporarily throw logic and rules aside, and just have fun and face the chaos and surprises of human imagination.
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: No intention, Remade horizon
Reminds me of Tune Yards and Vampire Weekend in parts, that sort of 'New York, we all went to music college' indie. That said its got some really interesting bits particularly vocals wise and the album flowed nicely. Probs a 3.5 but will round up
Too much for me, but great rhythm
Euphoric Pop. Great Production.
Un disco con popurrí de canciones, parecen inconexas. Pero las canciones están bien. Folk, africano, inde, Rufus... popurrí. 4
4/5. Pretty experimental/out there indie. Lots of cool highlights 🤙
Another casualty of my “I wasn’t paying attention to ‘mainstream indie rock’ at this time that I definitely would’ve liked” era
A new band for me. Really enjoyed this album. Got an Arcade Fire vibe about it.
While songs lack depth and substance - sonically and melodically it’s a quite interesting and varied album.
Well this was a splendid surprise. Had not heard of the band before. The album contains plenty of thrills. The harmonies complement the lead so well. Plus the album manages to extend time. It appeared much longer than reported timing. Maybe those odd time signatures did the trick.
7/16/2022 - ALBUM #170 https://open.spotify.com/album/2Geg4mwE8z9DO5BSSUoMKz?si=36887e03a2324980 Today's Album: "Bitte Orca" by Dirty Projectors - This is an album very unlike most albums I have heard before, and it is for the very best reasons. The opening song, Cannibal Resource, introudces the listener to everything that makes this album great, from the thoughtful lyrics, to the jangly and echoey guitar effects, to the tight drums and bass, and of course the fantastic female vocal harmonies. This album somehow captures a very youthful spirit to it while maintaining a pretty rocking core to it’s overall indie sound. The production of this album is pretty great, if not maybe a tad sterilized and clean, but that is pretty easily forgiven given when it came out. I really appreciate some of the odd rhythms this band uses in the verse structure and melodies of these songs. It reminds me to some of Bob Dylan’s experimental songwriting techniques if they were revamped for a modern, slightly more hipster, audience. The song Temecula Sunrise is a beautiful example of this with some incredibly jarring and unsteadying rhythmic changes that somehow sound beautiful in their janky, offcenteredness. I think part of this warmth and cheeriness to their sound comes from a fairly melodic bass guitar and what sounds like an incredibly skilled drummer when it comes to timing. There are of course other factors to this like the bright guitar sounds and beautiful harmonies, but the rhythm section of thi band really strikes me as what is keeping the core of the sound together. I also think this album flows together pretty nicely and it feels like one of those projects where the songwriters are very tuned into how the record should flow as a musical journey, which is something that I appreciate. I do think there are moments where the scattered and syncopated rhythms become a bit samey throughout the tracklist, but I also think there are a ton of interesting risks being taken to change up that sound, like on the track Stillness Is The Move. This song also shifts the background female vocalists to the foreground and drops the usual main male vocalist and I think this really helps to diversify the vocal feel of the record. Overall, this is an incredibly creative and colorful rock album that no-doubt inspired countless indie musicians for years to come (let alone most modern female vocalists!). Give this one a listen if you like indie music with a fair dose of quirkiness to it and enjoy a lot of interesting auxiliary instrumentation. Super fun! Highlights: Cannibal Resource, Temecula Sunrise, The Bride, Useful Chamber, Remade Horizon, Fluorescent Half Dome Score: 8/10 One of the most sonically adventurous indie albums I have heard
Was very very decent. May need to relisten again very soon.
Super original futuristic retro sound, already a modern classic. 7/10
I was way into this kinda stuff in college. The name of the band and the album cover are very familiar to me. Listening to it, I don't believe I have heard it before. It takes me back to '09 for sure. It feels sort of dated in a "very much a product of time/place" sort of way, but I still really enjoy it. Unique vocal stylings. You know what? Bitte Orca IS fun to say!
If there's a such thing as progressive indie, it's this. I was pleasantly surprised! Every song interested me because they were constantly surprising me by changing in ways I didn't expect. It was very impressive and felt very creative and fresh. This one could definitely grow on me more, I will return
I was worried that this would be too cutesy-fartsy for my taste. While it did occasionally veer into cutesy-fartsy territory, it had enough substance that kept it really interesting and not annoying at all to me. I plan to listen to this again and explore more of their music. 4 stars.
Surprisingly fun and delightfully eclectic. Good for another listen someday
Good album, weird riffs that were fun to listen to
Interesting, spacey, pretty and nice
4.6/5 Such a great album - the vocal stylings of the three leads are incredibly original and match arrangements that are fun and hard to predict. My favorite DP album, for sure
What an absolutely uncompromising album. By no way a clean and easy listen but it’s overflowing with complexity, ideas on the verge of collapsing under their own pretentiousness (a few exceptions actually falls flat) and creativity. Dirty Projectors are fighting to keep their avant-garde thoughts inside the framework of ordinary pop structures - and somehow they manage to get away with it. One of the few exceptions is the middle break of “Useful Chamber”, which consists of a weird beat and misplaced spoken words. The rest of the song is just explosive. This really had a hold on me from start till finish even though I never fully knew where I was about to be taken to next.
this album is indie af and fits the time. good timing and guitar solos. maybe too clean at times, maybe too sweet at times. its good tho. its real good. love me some acappella vocals that lead to wild guitar solos and symphonic and anthemic head banger moments. kicks. hard.
Really interesting sound and not at all what I expected to see on here. Don't know if I would go back to this but their sound is definitely unique. Cool instrumentals. I wonder how these songs are performed live. Fave track(s): Stillness Is The Move, Useful Chamber, Remade Horizon