Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Effective Disconnect by Brian McBride, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Effective Disconnect

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

Given how Stars of the Lid often garnered cinematic comparisons due to the lengthy instrumental bent of their music, it's little surprise that member Brian McBride was commissioned for film work, as was the case with his 2010 release. Thematically suggestive of Vangelis' early solo soundtrack for a documentary on endangered species, L'Apocalypse des Animaux — perhaps the reason the first two songs have a shared French title, "Melodrames Telegraphies (In B Major 7th)" — The Effective Disconnect was written for a film discussing the early 21st century crisis affecting bee populations and its possible impact upon the wider ecosystem and food chain. McBride's work is almost instantly recognizable, as similar as it is to Stars of the Lid, with long, slow tones and orchestrations stretched out into even more beautiful soundscapes, with pauses and spaces as important as the sonics themselves. Hints of utterly blissed-out shoegaze, avant-garde classical arrangements, and exploratory electronic music from previous decades recur here, as they have throughout McBride's work, with the string pieces on the three-part "Toil Theme" being among his best yet; it's both beautiful and haunted. There's a notable break in form with "Several Tries (In an Unrelated Style)," which is a series of brief fragments ranging from calm piano to what sounds like an oddly played, heavily microphoned kalimba. Heard separately from the film, little beyond the titles (the most obvious being "Beekeepers vs. Warfare Chemicals"'s soft chiming percussion followed by rich, mournful strings and tones) suggest a direct connection to the documentary itself — there are no found sound sources of buzzing bees — but the sense of slowly ebbing beauty, something fragile that almost seems to disappear, remains crucial, and thus, perhaps giving one title the greatest impact: "I Know That You Don't Like the Future Like I Do."

Customer Reviews

Beekeepers is a keeper

Brian McBride knows about things that everyone needs to research. Bees are getting decimated by the cocktail in the sky, the pesticides, and the gmo. Thanks for getting the word out.

Headphone Commute Review

In a strange turn of events I came face to face with a bee today. It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and a bee slowly landed on my mouse right when I was reaching out for it. It looked weak and wasn’t at all spooked by my sudden movement. The coincidence is that I was meaning to review Brian McBride’s new album the Effective Disconnect all week, but never got to it. This album is the official soundtrack for the movie The Vanishing of the Bees, a documentary investigating Colony Collapse Disorder, a condition that is currently threatening the bees and the welfare of the people around them. I feel as if this bee was suffering the consequences of this now widespread disease. For many people Brian McBride does not need an introduction. As one half of the duo Stars of the Lid, famous for their cinematic drones, he has been around in the minimalist ambient scene for almost two decades. Together, they literally have been setting the tone for contemporary musicians working in genres ranging from modern classical to drone. But even after hearing many artists working within a similar genre, there is no beating the real thing. And so after releasing his widely praised first solo effort When the Detail lost It’s Freedom (Kranky, 2005) in 2005 he now presents us the Effective Disconnect. Although on first listen this record does not seem to stray far from the sound STOL got famous for, this cd does convey a very specific change in style. The on and off swelling layers of sound are still there, but there is a decreased emphasis on repetition. Instead, Brian introduces many different themes that seeminglessly flow over into each other. And even though the slow movements and stretched-outness of themes used to be one of the fortes of STOL, a increased emphasis on melody treats the listener to a very rustic yet emotional listening experience. While striving to present the listener with a a piece that justifies the gloriousness of the bees through hopeful themes, the mood of the music quickly turns into a heavy and emotional account. I feel that “With Several Tries (in an Unelevated Style)” really conveys the gloomy tenor of the documentary. And the following track “Supposed Essay on the Piano (B major piano Adagietto) ” builds on this with a French horn melody that is supported by a sustained string section in the background. For me the pivotal piece is “Beekeepers vs. Warfare Chemicals”. The track starts with a high pitched chime-melody and goes on with a build up of strings that finally culminates into an almost aching piano piece. After this, we are introduced to the protagonists of the documentary through isolated bee wisps that fill the silent elements of “I Know That You Don’t Like the Future Like I Do”. The slow purring sound the bee makes, feels as if this bee is also contemplating landing on someone’s computer mouse. I read in several reviews of this cd that the change to more rapidly changing melodies is a bad thing. They were longing for the stretched horns and guitar-based drones that SOTL once brought to us. But Brian McBride has been moving away from this form of composing in favor of a multitude of motives and this was already noticeable in When the Detail Lost It’s Freedom (Kranky, 2005). I feel that this new direction is proving fruitful and as I get more familiar with the sounds, their influence over my mood increases. It’s an excellent record and a welcome addition to the record collection of anyone that likes Tim Hecker, Brian Eno, and Stars of the Lid.

Categorically recommended

If you like Stars of the Lid, you will like this. And vice versa.