Boston Herald


Somehow, it all works, as the dizzying soundscape never stays in one place for long. New passages drift in and out, accompanied by clanging percussion or recorded electronica. The mixes are extreme and feral, and that is part of the bizarre appeal. Ambience and textures add to the overall flavor of this improvisational thunderstorm.

The disc is divided into a pair of 26-minute sections: "She Said - She Said, Can You Sing Sermonette With Me?" and "5 Dreams; Marriage."

Bursts and streams of sounds appear, then quickly morph into something else entirely. Everything but the kitchen sink is utilized.

At points, though, "What Is It Like To Be A Bat" sounds like a malfunctioning video game. That's intentional of course, but still unsettling. Noises fly in and out like unexpected spitballs, vocals become shrill and are fired off like pieces of shrapnel and tempos change rapidly. The performers never really noodle; instead, they engage. in chaotic jams, aImost appearing at odds with their instruments and making it difficult to discern melody or rhythm.

"What Is It Like To Be A Bat" is a hellacious squall of sound that is never boring and wholly original. Not everyone will love this CD, but Brazelton, Naphtali and Tunick deserve kudos for attempting something so dramatic and different.

On the whole, it feels like the soundtrack to a futuristic film about a pending Armageddon.

What Is It Like To Be A Bat?



A modern squall of sound

Review by Michael J Ryan

Friday, August 1, 2003

Classical Punk, anyone?

Composers Kitty Brazelton and Dafna Naphtali have put together a wonderfully disjointed, frenzied soundscape that whizzes by like overactive toddler. "What Is It Like To Be A Bat?" contains shrieks, pops and thumps in a wild 52-minute collection of music that echoes Edgard Varese and Captain Beefheart.

Brazelton is responsible for vocals, computer soundtracks, electric bass and samples while Naphtali adds vocals, live audio processing and electric guitar. They are backed by Danny Tunick (drums, octapad, vocals, electric bass, samples and soprano recorder); and Paul Geluso (filtering and vocals).

related links:

"What Is It Like To Be A Bat?" the band

"What Is It Like To Be A Bat?" the CD

Tzadik, the label

Other CDs by Kitty Brazelton

Kitty Brazelton, composer

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