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This is a tour de force of Tour de France proportions! What an uncanny bit of recording ingenuity. These guys play free improvisational performances using only bicycles and contact mics. Between the rattling chains, rumbling rotating spokes, grinding grimy gear-shifting, squeezing brake pressure, and tumultuous tire tread it hardly seems imaginable that such sensational clattering & clanking would emanate from a two-wheelin’ mode of transportation! Stunningly diverse arrays of mechanistic sound like winches and pulleys hoisting clamorously hulking wreckage upward through an abandoned mine shaft. More fun than a tandem bike ride and perplexing as a unicycle jaunt across a tight rope, PBE astound with this limited two disc set. NO LANGUAGE. JUST ‘PEDDLE? TO THE METAL!!! PBE also reminds us that, ‘the greatest recordings in history sound like shit.’
after hearing the portland bike ensemble on the live mic at kfjc on 11.3.2005 i can get more of an appreciation of what they do. what the portland bike ensemble does is more art than music. by approaching their recordings in the same way you would approach any other form of modern art their collage of sound washes over you.
the portland bike ensemble has a track posted on their “website”.
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