Here's a more clear headed perspective from Miles Bowe:
"A bell rings and we see a bell. Whether its chime seeped from a speaker or floated through an open window, that bell is now in front of us. With each strike, its resonance, symbolism and physicality impacts us before we’ve even perceived these sounds as “music”. To our ears, this is not immediately an instrument — it’s a bell. On Bell Formations, arriving on vinyl this spring through Ryley Walker’s Husky Pants label, sound artists Max Eilbacher (of Horse Lords) and Henry Birdsey never let you lose sight of this singular instrument, even as they turn it inside out.
Originating from a series of orchestral bell recordings by Birdsey, Bell Formations is the result of two years of trading files and sculpting sounds on a microtonal level. Showcasing both Birdsey’s precise skill at coaxing sounds through his recording and arrangements, as well as Eilbacher’s one-of-a-kind electronic processing, these sprawling pieces accentuate the natural elements of bells rather than distorting them. Embracing both subtle and extreme detunings (and retunings), the pair approach each attack and sustain as a doorway to limitless sonic possibilities. As Eilbacher explains, “Henry's bell recordings are some of the most malleable acoustic material I have worked with.”
For all of Bell Formation’s dense processing, Eilbacher and Birdsey push us infinitely closer to the instrument with every strike. Our understanding of these sounds grows more intimate, even as the sources become completely transmuted. Far beyond melting, it’s as if these bells have sublimed entirely, each ring unleashing a cloud of copper and tin. For both its careful sonic unraveling of such a powerful, seemingly unchanging instrument and the inspiring musical conversation at its core, Bell Formations stand as a thrilling debut collaboration and one of the most unique experimental recordings of this year."