Bitte Orca is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Dirty Projectors, released on June 9, 2009, by Domino Recording Company. The word "bitte" is a German word for "please", and "orca" is another name for a killer whale. Frontman David Longstreth states that he liked the way the words sounded together.[3] Longstreth notes that the music contained within the album "felt very [much] about colors, and their interaction,"[3] and that the music was written with the notion of the band, as a whole, in mind.[3]

Bitte Orca
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 9, 2009
ProducerDavid Longstreth
Dirty Projectors chronology
Rise Above
Bitte Orca
Mount Wittenberg Orca

Two of the album's tracks, "Temecula Sunrise" and "Cannibal Resource", appeared on the subsequent EP release, Temecula Sunrise, alongside two new songs.[4]

The album peaked at #65 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Independent Albums chart.[5] As of April 4, 2012, the album has sold 85,000 copies in the U.S.[6]

Bitte Orca is the only studio album by the group to feature Angel Deradoorian as a full-time member.

Artwork edit

The album's artwork was designed by Rob Carmichael, who runs Catsup Plate Records and has created art for artists such as Animal Collective and Atlas Sound, with direction from Dave Longstreth. Carmichael believed "in some ways the idea was to evoke old-school European paintings and the female form." The artwork also strongly resembles their 2004 release, Slaves' Graves and Ballads, but features band members Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. Regarding their role on this album, Longstreth states:

One of my ideas for the album was to start, sort of, as a gift or homage to each one, to try to explode their temperaments into individual numbers. I was trying to widen the temperament of the band a little bit, to be Dirty Projectors but also have these new, different sort of flowers within the bouquet of the sound.

The photoshoot that spawned the photo utilized in the artwork also produced the photo featured on the back (consisting of Longstreth facing Friedrich Nietzsche). [3]

Release edit

Bitte Orca is Dirty Projectors' first album for Domino Records. The album was released in five different formats: digital download; compact disc; limited edition two-CD, which contains the original album plus the five-track "Stillness is the Move" single; vinyl LP; and a limited edition cassette.[7][8] All hard copy releases included a free digital download of the album.

The album leaked to the internet two months before its official release.[9][10]

An expanded edition of the album was released on September 28, 2010, featuring a bonus disc consisting of B-sides, an acoustic set recorded at New York's Other Music, and a cover of Bob Dylan's "As I Went Out One Morning." In 2020, the record club Vinyl Me, Please. released a limited edition double album version on colored vinyl, which contained the original track listing on the first disc and selected bonus tracks from the 2010 expanded edition on the second.[11]

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [14]
The A.V. ClubA[15]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[16]
The Guardian     [17]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)B+[18]
Q     [20]
Rolling Stone     [21]

Press edit

Reviewing the version of Bitte Orca which leaked onto the internet two months before its official release date, Stereogum called the album "stunning" and "pay-off for joining Dave Longstreth on his years of recorded self-discovery."[23] Prefix called the album "a breakthrough, which filters their left-field avant aesthetics through more conventional song structures."[24]

Pitchfork awarded the album a 9.2 upon initial release, calling it "a testament to the leaps and bounds Longstreth has made as a songsmith and Dirty Projectors have made as a band."[1] Pitchfork eventually ranked Bitte Orca at number 2 on its 2009 "Best Of" list (after Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective), and 56 on its list of the Top 200 Albums of the 2000s, as well as naming the track 'Stillness Is the Move' the second best track of 2009 (after 'My Girls', also by Animal Collective).[25] Rolling Stone ranked the same track at 85 in its 100 Best Songs of the Decade.

Time magazine listed the album as the "Number 2 Album of 2009" in the article "The Top 10 Everything of 2009", with writer Josh Tyrangiel noting: "The job of a music critic is essentially to describe music. For the past few years, the job of Dirty Projectors mastermind Dave Longstreth has been to make the critic's job undoable." [26]

The album placed 12th in The Wire's annual critics' poll.[27] Rhapsody ranked it #25 on their list of the best albums of 2009.[28]

Review aggregator website AnyDecentMusic? correlated 19 reviews resulting in an ADM Rating of 8.0.[29]

The album was also included in the 2011 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[citation needed]

Musicians edit

Commenting on the notion of "genre", Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear discussed Bitte Orca:[30]

Someone was asking me about what I was listening to and I was saying "Oh, Dirty Projectors, I love the new album," and they were like, "Well what kind of music is it?" and I just stopped dead in my tracks and literally didn't know how to describe it. At first I was embarrassed because I didn't know how to describe it, but then I was like, this is what's so amazing about a lot of music now. There are so many different things and there's so much going on and Bitte Orca is so distinctly Dirty Projectors that I didn't even know how to begin to describe what genre it is, you know? What would one categorize it as? So I find it hard lately to label things as indie or pop or folk or give it some sort of categorization.

Videos edit

The music video from the first single from the album "Stillness is the Move" was directed by Matthew Lessner.[31]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by David Longstreth, except where noted

1."Cannibal Resource" 3:55
2."Temecula Sunrise" 5:05
3."The Bride" 2:49
4."Stillness Is the Move"David Longstreth, Amber Coffman5:14
5."Two Doves" 3:42
6."Useful Chamber" 6:28
7."No Intention" 4:17
8."Remade Horizon" 3:55
9."Fluorescent Half Dome" 5:45
Total length:41:08

Personnel edit

The following people contributed to Bitte Orca:[32]

Band edit

Additional musicians edit

  • Jordan Dykstra – string quartet director, viola ("Stillness Is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Caleb Russell – violin ("Stillness Is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Andrew Todd – violin ("Stillness Is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")
  • Anna Fritz – cello ("Stillness Is the Move", "Two Doves", "Remade Horizon", "Fluorescent Half Dome")

Recording personnel edit

  • David Longstreth – producer, mixing, drum recording,
  • Robby Moncrieff – recording engineer
  • Nicolas Vernhes – additional production, mixing
  • Brian McOmber – drum recording
  • Joe Lambert – mastering

Artwork edit

  • Jason Frank Rothenberg – original cover photograph
  • Rob Carmichael – album layout

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Thompson, Paul (June 9, 2009). "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  2. ^ Harvell, Jess (December 17, 2009). "The Top 50 Albums of 2009". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d Dahlen, Chris (2009-07-06). "Interviews: Dirty Projectors | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  4. ^ "Dirty Projectors Prep New EP". Exclaim!. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Listen: Dirty Projectors Unveil New Track, 'Gun Has No Trigger'". Billboard. March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "Domino | Albums | Bitte Orca". Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  8. ^ "Dirty Projectors to Release Bitte Orca on Limited-Edition Cassette | Prefix". 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  9. ^ Mulvey, John (15 April 2009). "Dirty Projcectors: "Bitte Orca"". Uncut. BandLab Technologies. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  10. ^ Bick, Emily. "Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca Review". The Quietus. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  11. ^ Phillips, Patrick (13 January 2020). "Vinyl Me, Please January Edition: Dirty Projectors 'Bitte Orca'". Geek Insider, LLC. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "Reviews for Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Deming, Mark. "Bitte Orca – Dirty Projectors". AllMusic. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  15. ^ O'Neal, Sean (June 9, 2009). "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  16. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (June 3, 2009). "Bitte Orca". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  17. ^ Hughes, Tom (June 5, 2009). "Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca". The Guardian. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  18. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 2010). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  19. ^ Parkin, Chris (June 3, 2009). "Album review: Dirty Projectors – 'Bitte Orca'". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  20. ^ "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca". Q (276): 121. July 2009.
  21. ^ Dolan, Jon (May 26, 2009). "Bitte Orca: Dirty Projectors". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  22. ^ Beta, Andy (June 2009). "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca". Spin. 25 (6): 90. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  23. ^ Stereogum article: "Premature Evaluation: Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca"
  24. ^ "Album Review: Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca | Prefix". Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  25. ^ Pitchfork list: "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 100-51"
  26. ^ Time list: "The Top 10 Everything of 2009" "[1]"
  27. ^ "2009 Rewind: Records of the Year 50–11". The Wire. No. 311. London. January 2010. p. 37 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)
  28. ^ The 25 Best Albums of 2009 Archived January 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Referenced July 31, 2010
  29. ^ "Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors reviews". Any Decent Music. 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  30. ^ Petrusich, Amanda (2009-06-29). "Interviews: Grizzly Bear | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  31. ^ Breihan, Tom (2009-07-16). "Director's Cut: Dirty Projectors: "Stillness Is the Move" | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  32. ^ Bitte Orca liner notes.