Bitte Orca

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Bitte Orca
Studio album by Dirty Projectors
Released June 9, 2009
Genre Indie pop, art pop, baroque pop, experimental
Length 41:08
Label Domino
Dirty Projectors chronology
Rise Above
(2007)
Bitte Orca
(2009)
Mount Wittenberg Orca
(2010)

Bitte Orca is a 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 Dave Longstreth states that he liked the way the words sound together.[1] Longstreth notes that the music contained within the album "felt very [much] about colors, and their interaction,"[1] and that the music was written with the notion of the band, as a whole, in mind.[1]

Two of the album's tracks, "Temecula Sunrise" and "Cannibal Resource", appeared on the subsequent EP release, Temecula Sunrise, alongside two new songs.[2]

The album peaked at #65 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Independent Albums chart.[3] As of April 4, 2012, the album has sold 85,000 copies in the U.S.[4]

Artwork[edit]

The album's artwork was designed by Rob Carmichael, who runs Catsup Plate Records and has created art for artists such as Animal Collective and Atlas Sound, with direction from Dave Longstreth. Carmichael believed "in some ways the idea was to evoke old-school European paintings and the female form." The artwork also strongly resembles their 2004 release, Slaves' Graves and Ballads, but features band members Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. Regarding their role on this album, Longstreth states:

One of my ideas for the album was to start, sort of, as a gift or homage to each one, to try to explode their temperaments into individual numbers. I was trying to widen the temperament of the band a little bit, to be Dirty Projectors but also have these new, different sort of flowers within the bouquet of the sound.

The photoshoot that spawned the photo utilized in the artwork also produced the photo featured on the back (consisting of Longstreth facing Friedrich Nietzsche). [1]

Release[edit]

Bitte Orca is Dirty Projectors' first album for Domino Records. The album was released on five different formats: digital download; compact disc; limited edition two-CD, which contains the original album plus the five-track "Stillness is the Move" single; vinyl LP; and a limited edition cassette.[5][6] All hard copy releases included a free digital download of the album. An expanded edition of the album was released September 28, 2010, featuring a bonus disc consisting of b-sides, an acoustic set recorded at New York's Other Music and a cover of Bob Dylan's "As I Went Out One Morning."

The album leaked to the internet two months before its official release.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
The A.V. Club A link
Clash (9/10) link
Drowned in Sound (8/10) link
Entertainment Weekly A− link
The Guardian 4/5 stars link
NME (8/10) link
Pitchfork Media (9.2/10) link
PopMatters (8/10) link

Press[edit]

Reviewing the version of Bitte Orca which leaked onto the internet two months before its official release date, Stereogum called the album "stunning" and "pay-off for joining Dave Longstreth on his years of recorded self-discovery."[7] Prefix called the album "a breakthrough, which filters their left-field avant aesthetics through more conventional song structures."[8]

Pitchfork Media awarded the album a 9.2 upon initial release, calling it "a testament to the leaps and bounds Longstreth has made as a songsmith and Dirty Projectors have made as a band." [9] Pitchfork eventually ranked Bitte Orca at number 2 on its 2009 "Best Of" list, and 56 on its list of the Top 200 Albums of the 2000s, as well as naming the track 'Stillness Is the Move' the second best track of 2009.[10]

TIME Magazine listed the album as the "Number 2 Album of 2009" in the article "The Top 10 Everything of 2009", with writer Josh Tyrangiel noting that the Dirty Projectors make the critic's job nearly impossible, noting that "The job of a music critic is essentially to describe music. For the past few years, the job of Dirty Projectors mastermind Dave Longstreth has been to make the critic's job undoable." [11]

Rhapsody (online music service) ranked it #25 on their list of the best albums of 2009.[12]

Review aggregator website AnyDecentMusic? correlated 19 reviews resulting in an ADM Rating of 8.0.[13]

The album was also included in the 2011 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Musicians[edit]

Commenting on the notion of "genre", Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear discussed Bitte Orca:[14]

Someone was asking me about what I was listening to and I was saying "Oh, Dirty Projectors, I love the new album," and they were like, "Well what kind of music is it?" and I just stopped dead in my tracks and literally didn't know how to describe it.

At first I was embarrassed because I didn't know how to describe it, but then I was like, this is what's so amazing about a lot of music now. There are so many different things and there's so much going on and Bitte Orca is so distinctly Dirty Projectors that I didn't even know how to begin to describe what genre it is, you know? What would one categorize it as? So I find it hard lately to label things as indie or pop or folk or give it some sort of categorization.

Videos[edit]

The music video from the first single from the album "Stillness is the Move" was directed by Matthew Lessner.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by David Longstreth unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Cannibal Resource" - 3:55
  2. "Temecula Sunrise" - 5:05
  3. "The Bride" - 2:49
  4. "Stillness Is the Move" - 5:14 (Longstreth, Amber Coffman)[16]
  5. "Two Doves" - 3:42
  6. "Useful Chamber" - 6:28
  7. "No Intention" - 4:17
  8. "Remade Horizon" - 3:55
  9. "Fluorescent Half Dome" - 5:45

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to Bitte Orca:[17]

Band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Jordan Dykstra - string quartet director, viola ("Stillness is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Caleb Russell - violin ("Stillness is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Andrew Todd - violin ("Stillness is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Anna Fritz - cello ("Stillness is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")

Recording personnel[edit]

  • David Longstreth - producer, mixing, drum recording,
  • Robby Moncrieff - recording engineer
  • Nicolas Vernhes - additional production, mixing
  • Brian McOmber - drum recording
  • Joe Lambert - mastering

Artwork[edit]

  • Jason Frank Rothenberg - original cover photograph
  • Rob Carmichael - album layout

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Dahlen, Chris (2009-07-06). "Interviews: Dirty Projectors | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  2. ^ "Account Suspended". Stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  3. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/300989/dirty+projectors/chart
  4. ^ "Listen: Dirty Projectors Unveil New Track, 'Gun Has No Trigger'". Billboard. March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Domino | Albums | Bitte Orca". Dominorecordco.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  6. ^ "Dirty Projectors to Release Bitte Orca on Limited-Edition Cassette | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  7. ^ Stereogum article: "Premature Evaluation: Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca"
  8. ^ "Album Review: Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  9. ^ Pitchfork Media Review: "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca
  10. ^ Pitchfork Media list: "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 100-51"
  11. ^ TIME Magazine list: "The Top 10 Everything of 2009" "[1]"
  12. ^ The 25 Best Albums of 2009 Referenced July 31, 2010
  13. ^ "Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors reviews". Any Decent Music. 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  14. ^ Petrusich, Amanda (2009-06-29). "Interviews: Grizzly Bear | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  15. ^ Breihan, Tom (2009-07-16). "Director's Cut: Dirty Projectors: "Stillness Is the Move" | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  16. ^ Bitte Orca liner notes
  17. ^ Bitte Orca liner notes.