Various Artists – Music And Migration III

Various Artists - Music And Migration III

Various Artists – Music And Migration III

Not many labels could pull off releasing three ornithologically-themed multi-artist compilations… but then Second Language is far from being an ordinary enterprise.  Following on from its prequels released in 2010 and 2011, this third and final part of the Music And Migration trilogy could be the best – or at least the most cohesively refined – in the series. Rounding-up contributors from the existing 2L roster alongside a few flying visitors, this thirteen track suite of the electronic, bucolic and just plain beatific, hangs together both around bird-centric conceptualism and as a showcase of a discerning selection process.

Opening with the balmy birdsong-like burbling of “Kirkeskov” from Isan (no strangers to chirruping electronica previously), Music And Migration III takes flight gracefully and playfully from the start.  Thereafter a whole flock of intimate miniatures follow in unrushed succession. Current 2L artists lead the way with some especially generous offerings.  Hence, Colleen unfurls a layered vocal and percussion Moondog-like meditation (“Bird Score”); rescued folk legend Mark Fry supplies a ruminative autumnal ballad (“In Times Like These”); Directorsound deliver a shimmering acoustic addendum to the recent I Hunt Alone LP (“Is That The Heron?”); Sharron Kraus masterfully extends the inventive reach of her two new albums with the eerie electro-acoustic “Birds Of The Air”; and Glen Johnson’s hushed synth-backed “L’abandon” impressively rehabilitates the art of anthropomorphizing.

Amongst the non-2L artists the quality is almost as high.  Thus, Frances Castle’s “Flight Of The Swans” recalls the otherworldly magic of vintage nature documentary soundtracks; Pascal Pinon’s Icelandic post-folk is thoughtfully channelled on “Fuglar”; and Lisa Knapp’s sparse epic “Fine Horseman” makes for a haunting de facto finale before Chris Watson’s “Namaqua Moves” close things officially with some twitcher-friendly field recordings.

The Home Current - Mizieb EP

The Home Current – Mizieb EP

By way of a postscript to the main release, Second Language subscribers will also receive the Mizieb EP from The Home Current.  Although dominated by five wildly divergeant remixes of “Theme From Mizieb” (originally found on Music And Migration II), two new tracks (the ‘80s 4AD imbued “Fiddien Torchlight Procession” and “A Case Of Domestic Violins”) will certainly provide the most interest to those already following the breadcrumb trail of Martin Holm’s promising ambient-noire project.

Taken together then, Music And Migration III and its sibling EP unveil yet another beguiling gathering of musical and natural world insightfulness from the Second Language realm.

Second Language