Thursday, November 17, 2011

Appalachian Post-Punk and Flute Loops

Earlier this week, Spousal Unit and I were driving around, spending too much money on things like food and nightlights, when we heard an amazing sound on the local radio station.
The musician's name is Bonnie Prince Billy, and the station played the entirety of his new album, "Wolfroy Goes to Town." Apparently, everyone but me knows about him - he's been covered by Johnny Cash and Björk, among others. His sound is, to me, reminiscent of Iron and Wine - or maybe it's the other way around. Will Oldham, the bonnie prince mentioned in his recording name, has been making music for quite some time, almost twenty years at this point.

It's the kind of music you'd listen to while trying to relax. But something anticipatory (and almost creepy) in the overall tone keeps you a bit on edge, as you can hear in Cows (Wolfroy Goes to Town). The instrumentation is broad, with everything from a string section backup, to an electric guitar, to an acoustic and xylophone. His style has been called "Appalachian post-punk solipsist," apparently (solipsism is the idea that the only thing the self can know - and the only thing that exists - is self).

I certainly know Bonnie Prince Billy exists now, and I want more.

In an entirely different vein, I discovered Melotron at the bookstore one day. Being that the group is German and one song on the album is called "2 Young 2 Die," I took it home hoping for electronica. And I got what I wished for.

Even if you're not typically a fan of electronica, I defy you not to listen to the first minute of the opening track, "Tränen aus Staub" (Tears of Dust) and be entranced. It begins with an intense full orchestra, then morphs into a techno-disco scene, with an intense flute solo draped over it. Amazing, right?

Their whole shtick is made clear in their name: a mellotron is a keyboard which plays prerecorded tape loops over each other.

Nothing like some hardcore flute loops in the morning.


  1. I have several Bonnie Prince Billy albums if you'd like to borrow/burn...


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