ANDREI RIKICHI – Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness

Bearsuit 2022

Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness

Libertarian in search of meaning strikes a chord with fringe audience by finding accord with alternative reality.

Given that the world has been a global village for quite a time now, there’s hardly anything surprising in Andrei Rikichi’s story. The London-located multi-instrumentalist whose parents hail from Japan and Romania was raised in Switzerland and Belgium where he played in a few ensembles before opting for a solo path with this philosophical gem which crams 14 experimental cuts in a whopping 28 minutes yet neither sacrifices a single track’s scope nor scars the listener, although scary moments are aplenty here. Still, in a case of truth looking stranger than fiction, the artist possessed of such interesting biography is, in fact, Scottish entrepreneur Dave Hillary, also known as Eamon The Destroyer and Bunny The Invalid Singer whose recent albums "A Small Blue Car" and "Flight Of The Certainty Kids" found a receptive audience, thanks to their distinct sonic identities.

“Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness” might be his most brazenly avant-garde offering, what with its titular number emerging as a crepuscular collage of pseudo-orchestral passages and equally solemn spaced-out lines set to a vinyl-like crackling, and opener “Theme From The Butcher’s Parade” presenting a creepy brass-splashed march of orbital troops into an electronically swept panorama, but the album’s sci-fi, cinematic drift – frighteningly funny in the percussive swirl of “They Don’t See The Maelstrom” and lighthearted in the 14-second “Bag, Lyrics, New Prescription” comprising a loud bang – is actually endearing rather than alienating. Despite muffled industrial noise impregnating “At Home I Hammer Ceramic Golfing Dogs” and crazy oratorio elevating several pieces to celestial ceiling only to crash their sinful symphony against funereal peal, wonderful motifs rise to the surface to deliver a riveting experience. Thus, “This” brings on a crystal-tinged groove which will stumble towards glacial dancefloor, where the off-kilter “This Is Where It Started” unfolds an arresting retro-drama and “Who’s Driving This Handcart?” tick-tocks away from any earthly worry.

That’s why “Death Of A Postmaster” comes across as a cosmic triumph of the highest standard, and “This Is Where It Ends” lands on a tightly buzzing, bombastic ‘n’ exotic finale that a lot of art-rock bands would kill for. Or, better, as Andrei Rikichi to write for then, for there’s no limit to the man’s fantasy.


October 29, 2022

Category(s): Reviews
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