To the observant listener, the natural world offers a delightful symphony of songs -- from the delicate twittering of a bird perched on a nearby branch, to the majestic bellowing of a whale through the dark ocean depths.
But as beautiful as those sounds may be, they're certainly not easy to dance to.
What if someone compiled animal noises and compiled them into something more musical, like, say, a hip-hop album? Well, someone has.
In 2012, experimental music producer TD Cruze released an impressively peculiar record called The Savage Beast, billed as the "the first ever Hip-Hop album comprised of only animal sounds." The six-track EP features various noises from dozens of animal artfully arranged to make jungly, upbeat music -- at times cacophonous, but never dull.
The Dodo recently reached out to TD Cruze to find out more about The Savage Beast, which is available for download on the artist's Bandcamp page.
What inspired you to make an album like this?
A long time ago, before I even started making music, I was just talking to my brother about concept albums one day and I thought it'd be really cool if someone made an entire album out of animal sounds.
I did some research and discovered that someone had already accomplished that feat - Bernie Krause with "Gorillas in the Mix" in 1988. I was a little bummed when I heard that, but I decided I'd just tout my project as "the first ever Hip-Hop album comprised of only animal sounds" and it would still be true and hopefully just as impressive.
Where did the animal sounds you used come from? Did you record them?
I did not get a chance to record any of the sounds myself, but thankfully YouTube had a plethora of videos of animals making weird noises for me to use, which is where 99% of the sounds on the album came from (the Elephant stomp came from some shady unknown filesharing site that I was sure was going to give me a virus).
How many animals are there that contributed to The Savage Beast?
Overall, there are about 25-30 different species of animal on the the album, with multiples of certain animals like dogs and cats appearing throughout. I tried to limit myself to using no greater than 10 different animals on one track because I wanted to keep each song as focused and cohesive as possible.
Which sound on the album would you say is your favorite?
There are a lot of strange and interesting sounds on the album, most notably the sound of a turtle making love to a shoe. It makes this nice high-pitched, airy sound that was a lot of fun to play around with. I probably used that one a little too much actually. There's also a cat that sounds like it might be possessed on the aptly named "Crazy Cat Lady" song and a dog that sounds like it's saying the word "Elmo" that I used on a couple of tracks.
Has putting all these sounds together changed the way you hear animal sounds when you're out and about?
Every once in a while I will come across something small like a dog barking or a weird bird chirp and think to myself "Oh man, that would've been perfect for the album....".
Do you have any pets? What do they think of your work?
Sadly, I do not have any pets of my own at the moment, but a few people on Twitter have told me that their pets reacted strangely to the album when they played it for them. For instance, one guy's cat would stand completely still with his hair on end and just stare at the guy's laptop until he turned it off.
Another guy's dog started shaking and peed all over the floor. I think I should've included a Pet Owner's Advisory label on the cover or something because I feel really bad that I might have induced some serious psychological trauma on those poor guys!