With a name inspired by a Douglas Coupland sculpture, The Tropical Birds (aka Tom Whitfield) was certain to push boundaries both musically and stylistically, and that’s just what’s he’s achieved on Jacana – you check the track out below.
The London-based musician has created a pleasurable oddity in Jacana, its mix of synths and samples hinting at the darker ends of techno, but with the warm bass line and chimingly insistent electronica reminding me of the work of Philip Glass.
That said, the music’s not minimal; on the contrary it’s expansive and expressive. Whitfield says he is trying to ‘make electronic music with a heavy post-rock/shoegaze influence. Something blissful but disturbing.’ I think he’s managed that on Jacana with its unconventional challenge to the norms of electronica – experimental or otherwise.
Jacana is one of three tracks by The Tropical Birds currently streaming on Soundcloud, all of which are named after, you guessed it, tropical birds. He says he’s putting together an EP for wide release and hopes to start gigging later in the year. 2018 could be an interesting year!