"This is the most we could come up with our small minds over a long period of time," says Joshua Kit Clayton, who often stops the phone conversation to ask what this author is wearing and whether he's having a good day. Pigeon Funk's second album, The Largest Bird in the History of the Planet ... Ever! (Musique Risquée), took four years to make. For much of that time, Clayton was largely absent from the city's techno scene after having once been one of its dominant figures. He finally reappeared this year with two 12-inches: "Grey Amber" and "I Left My Heart My Heart in San Francisco," the latter a double-A single with Sutekh.
"I don't go to a lot of dance parties anymore, although I saw Seth [Horvitz, né Sutekh] at a rave the other night," Clayton muses. "I couldn't even tell what kind of drugs people were on. But other than that, I haven't been out to a dance music night in a very long time.... I have no idea what other people are doing today. I am sheltered."
"I almost feel like a strange outsider at this point," adds Sutekh, who says the aforementioned so-called rave gig was a rare occurrence. Musically, though, he's stayed active, most recently dropping the "Influenza B" single earlier this spring.
When Pigeon Funk issued its self-titled EP in 2001, the group fit right in with the glitch/IDM/experimental wave cresting throughout the techno world. Years later it's still about glitch, except house and hip-hop producers like Glitch Mob and Daedelus hijacked it. Meanwhile, the techno scene has moved on to minimal and surprisingly trance.
With few current trends to categorize it with, The Largest Bird sounds happily out of step. Abandoning the computer programming that has been a hallmark of their careers, Sutekh and Clayton turned to analog keyboard equipment, random vocally-generated noises, and disparate acoustic equipment. The eclectic beats range from wacky exotica lounge ("Alma Hueco" with vocalist Anna Machado) to funky bangers ("Bacchanal").
Touting The Largest Bird's therapeutic qualities, Clayton says, "I think it would be really dope if people used this inside their yoga classes, their exercise classes, meditation classes, workforce training classes, any type of self-growth, whether it be erotic, financial, religious, or fitness. I think this album is something that would lift them up."