Leah Kardos – Bird Rib

[bigo & twigetti 2020]

I’m admittedly a bit late to the game with Leah Kardos. This is the first release I’ve had the pleasure to hear from her, and it is a wildly enjoyable listen. Kardos balances ambient, glitch, jazz, electronica, and IDM together in ways that will instantly connect with fans of Floating Points or Rupert Lally. Each of these six pieces here are unique in their delivery, but contain a consistency in their theme and tone.

In Kardos’ own words, Bird Rib came together from pieces left over from her previous release Rococochet, with many of the songs starting out from a process in which she reversed the tape. Listening to this, however, it’s not obvious that this was the approach. These tunes sound fresh, birthed from the ether, yet grounded in a strong foundation of song composition.

Take for instance the second song, “Into Sporks” with its glitchy beat, twinkling, trebly, staccato bells, soft, propulsive bass, and xylophone which glues the piece together. It comes together in a lovely way, feeling purposeful in its execution and intent.

Then there’s “Heavy Hand.” Holy shit, there’s “Heavy Hand.” None of these songs are throw-aways, but “Heavy Hand” is the clear standout. It displays an absolute mastery of blending jazzy piano, bells, mallets, jazz drumming, electronics, saxophone, vocal sampling—I could go on. The layers are incredibly deep in this song, and the second you feel you’ve pinned it down, it offers something new. Just magnificent!

If you can, I encourage you to pick up the beautiful orange vinyl from Bandcamp on this final Bandcamp Friday of 2021. If you miss out on Bandcamp Friday, buy it tomorrow. Listen to this in the morning when you wake up. Listen to it while relaxing with your morning coffee. Put it back on in the early evening. I promise you, you will be rewarded over and over.

Purchase vinyl and/or digital copies here.

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