posted on May 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm

nk bought goldfrapps new album yesterday
oh its very lovely….very lovely
steeped deeply in the beatles
its a dreamy creamy melodic techni n sepia colour trip
a dvd came with it for a song called a and e
ali goldy singing in a forest full of leaves
suddenly these leaf-men jump up and start dancing
scarlet kilbey whose accidentally watching is delighted
oh monsters she exclaims happily
then the trees come to life frugging around floppily
you could see scarlet having a pivotal moment…
when the video stopped:
play the monster song again she says
yes this 4th album is their best i’d say after one days listening
some sublime melodies abounding
some weird place where childhood and nascent sexuality intersect
(a very tricky area)
sample :mahogany titties that live on n on
(my spell check says ive misspelled titties (ha ha ))
but the sexuality is imbued with some kinda detached buddhist thingy
the whole thing is like a memory very watercolour very warm n hazy
all of this is achieved thru copious use of mellotron
such was the beatle boys impact upon music
that the mellotron will often be always associated with them
the mellotron (some of you may know this)
was invented in the 60s…very revolutionary n brilliant idea
a machine was built…a mechanical contraption, a keyboard
which consisted of a number of playback heads
which would play a small 7 second loop of tape
when its key was depressed
the mellotron company then recorded
some beautiful and very characteristic sounds
imagine they take , say, the flautist
he plays a C for seven seconds
they record it and transfer it to the little loop that
will play that 7 seconds of C flute when the C key is depressed
after 7 seconds the little loop needed to rewind
so it could play again
just like a cassette tape but much much shorter
ok so the mellotron company records
all the instruments
solo and together
vocalists n choirs
pianos …everything
so now for the first time ever
a single keyboard player had an entire orchestra or choir at
his fingytips
mellotrons were not that stable live
the tapes would get stretched and get jammed
you can imagine…
after an initial wrangle with the musos union
who said (wrongly or rightly?)
that the m-tron would take work away from real musos
the mellotron was taken up and used very much by los beatles
its on a lot of the psychedelic stuff esp the flutes on strawberry fields
the moody blues gave it a caning on almost everything
walling up their sound with slabs of m-tron strings
genesis are the main m-tron fiends
and probably my favourite users of this wonderful machine
almost everything has it
their widescreen n archaic weirdness not possible without it
listen to watcher of the skies
the intro has about 2 minutes of just m-tron
anyway things going backwards n mellotrons
both popularized by the beatles
and now their very use automatically brings those acid days back
its a bit of an easy trick in a way
but still very alluring
the m-tron has such a characteristic sound i avoided it for so long
only recently succumbing
now its on p-killer and new church n shriek….everything
anyway goldfrapps new album is simply stunning
the video went on first thing this morning
and the woofle came out all bleary eyed
plonked herself down and devoured it again
i like the tea she says
referring to the bit at the end
where will drinks a cuppa
also coming with the excellent vid
is a rather silly n slightly demystifying film
(ha! i should talk!)
showing that strange artists should remain strangely silent
ali goldy comes across
a bit like “whatever happened to baby jane”
gee the album is a corker tho
and the the fact my kids have watched the vid 50 times
means there is room in the world
for a kids tv show set in a forest with walking trees
and talking creatures
but done with a magical aesthetic that grown ups could dig!
if you get the funding im the man to do it….
the last word on goldfrapp from scarlet kilbey
to doodles after turning the vid off
“put my monster back on
put my monster back on…FOR GOD SAKE!”

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