We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

The Iridium Controversy

by Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

supported by
New England Synthesizer Festival
New England Synthesizer Festival thumbnail
New England Synthesizer Festival Michael Bierylo performed at New England Synth Fest on October 29, 2022.
spicyinvalid thumbnail
spicyinvalid As much as I believe that a "mesozoic period" is wishful thinking and most definitely pseudoscience, BSTM has been a band that I have enjoyed listening to ever since I was a teenager. I haven't heard this album until it was offered to me for $5 dollars. But all the same, it is clearly a masterfully produced record of true artistic merit. Buy the record if you like a rewarding challenge.
Carsten Pieper
Carsten Pieper thumbnail
Carsten Pieper And yet another weekend special by Cuneiform Records I couldn't let pass...

Don't let the Roger Dean artwork fool you into expecting Yes-related music here! The band's stuff is often described as a kind of chamber RIO.
Definitely no easy, but engaging listening here. An album that should be listened to many times . And those often are the best, aren't they?

Hard to compare them, but if you like, for example, Univers Zero, this might be for you too... Favorite track: Lost in the B-Zone.
Little James
Little James thumbnail
Little James I'm a big fan of RIO, especially Univers Zero, The Muffins, Henry Cow, and Thinking Plague. Birdsongs has that delightful RIO quality, while at the same time being melodically and rhythmically accessible. Favorite track: Lost in the B-Zone.
r2ph thumbnail
r2ph That's different enough to be heard
Sven B. Schreiber (sbs)
Sven B. Schreiber (sbs) thumbnail
Sven B. Schreiber (sbs) To me, this is clearly the best band of its kind - whatever its kind is supposed to be... ;) Well, I think it's characterized best by chamber avantgarde with a pinch of zeuhl. Unfortunately, this is (probably) the band's last album. Fortunately, it's also their best, in my opinion. Favorite track: Make the Camera Dance.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    This download purchase includes a digital booklet with credits, photos and information.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


This Way Out 04:21
Race Point 03:56
Çentrifuge 04:08


Dubbed “the world’s hardest rocking chamber quartet” by the New York Times, Boston’s Birdsongs of the Mesozoic creates innovative instrumental music that fuses rock, classical, minimalism, punk, garage/pop, and jazz.

Two keyboardists (one on grand piano and one on synthesizer), guitar, saxophone and electronic/computer percussion produce a unique sound that fuses the youthful energy and anarchism of rock with the structure (and process) of classical music. The result is simultaneously abstract and accessible, music without vocals with broad popular appeal.

Called everything from ‘avant-progressive’ [Progression] to ‘heavy metal Baroque’ [Honolulu Weekly] to ‘avant-garage’ [B Side], Birdsongs’ hybrid sound may well be classical music’s new alternative, a ‘genetically modified’ hybrid that will breathe life and vigor into a musical genre that has grown rarified with age, increasingly irrelevant to modern audiences. The Iridium Controversy is a sophisticated work, a soundtrack to a primordial epic that harkens to the future as well as the past.

The cover art for The Iridium Controversy is by British artist and designer Roger Dean, world renown for his album covers for Yes, Asia and other rockers.

"This Boston-based ensemble's fifth album for the Cuneiform label finds it continuing to explore a unique musical territory it has carved out for itself, a strange shadowland somewhere on the border between art and pop music.
Still led by pianist/composer and founding member Erik Lindgren, the quartet plays in a style that incorporates elements of minimalism, punk rock, experimental jazz, and 20th century classical music. Repetitive figures will call to mind Philip Glass, while jagged and complex rhythms conjure up the ghost of Igor Stravinsky and distorted electric-guitar jousts with swinging jazz flute.
The resulting music is nowhere near as anarchic as the description of it might sound, though there are moments of near-chaos that finally coalesce into a carefully-constructed whole.
Highlights on this album include two reprises of material from the band's 1980s repertoire (the chugging "Lost in the B-Zone," here given a more hip-hop-flavored arrangement, and the Roger Miller composition "Beat of the Mesozoic") and a gorgeous, cyclical piece by windman Ken Field entitled, evocatively, "Centrifuge."
The best way to introduce yourself to this band is still to go back to its 1980s recordings for the Ace of Hearts label, but if you like what you hear there, you'll be sure to love Iridium Controversy" – AllMusic


released September 16, 2003

Erik Lindgren - acoustic grand piano, washboard, Acetone organ
Ken Field - saxophones, flutes, percussion
Rick Scott - synthesizer, piano, percussion
Michael Bierylo - guitar, programming, sound design, floor tom
Larry Dersch - percussion, drums (2, 3, 5, 8, 12)
Terry Donahue - percussion, djembe (2, 3, 5, 12)
Roger Miller - piano (6, 12)
Eric Paull - drums (1, 11)
Ken Winokur - percussion (5)

Recorded August 2002 to April 2003 at Sounds Interesting, Middleborough, MA and Virtual Planet, Brookline, MA by Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
Mixed at Mixed Emotions, Middleton, MA by Rich Durkee.


all rights reserved



Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

contact / help

Contact Cuneiform Records

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Cuneiform Records recommends:

If you like The Iridium Controversy, you may also like: