Collections Of Colonies Of Bees is a well-established band from Milwaukee. They have yet to be mentioned much in the mainstream press, even after Justin Vernon of Bon Iver gushed about them in his interview with Pitchfork, but those that know them know that the respect is well deserved.
Their latest album, Birds came out last year, and was very well received. Consisting of only four tracks (Flocks I, Flocks II, Flocks III, and Flocks IV) the album is a fine example of post-rock experimentalism, while keeping a foot in conventional instrumentation. Pitchfork (hey, why not reference them when they're right for once?!) gave the album a 7.8, saying "Organic and intricate as their compositions can be, the Bees clearly appreciate the emotional power of simple, thoughtfully tiered rhythms, as the opening movement "Flocks I" attests."
Usually I get bored easily by instrumental albums - nothing against them, I'm just big on vocals. But this collection (pun! right?...) of songs keeps my interest, as the rhythms and repetitive figures mold together to create a pulsing, driving atmosphere of sound. It's not ambient music by any means, think of it as if Sigur Ros moved to Wisconsin and lost all of their reverb on the way over.
MP3: Flocks I
The band is touring Japan in February according to their Myspace, but hopefully they find their way back home to play some more shows in the Midwest.