Most of the record was recorded live to tape in the same room, and is far more vocally focussed than you would expect from Dirty Projectors. All instrumentation is toned right down. There are no big guitar flourishes and there is minimal overdubbing. Instead, there is an interesting sonic landscape over which a mixture of vocal sounds and lyrics evoke the lives of the whales and create appropriate atmosphere and narrative.
Maybe the whole thing sounds a little pretentious, but when you put Iceland's favourite daughter at the heart of it, it kinda makes sense. After all, most musicians would probably look at you blankly if you suggested performing the part of a mother whale on a musical project, whereas, one imagines Björk simply wondered why it had taken anyone so long to ask her.
Mount Wittenberg Orca is certainly too far-out to be everyone's cup of tea, but it is sonically and thematically inventive and there is a political edge too. “Come into my home/Murder my family,” cries Björk on Sharing Orb, so it is fitting that all proceeds go to a National Geographic Society charity aimed at preserving marine space.
Review by Bobby Townsend. It first appeared in Sydney's Drum Media.