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Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey

Savath & Savalas

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Album Review

Scott Herren's Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey, recorded under the name Savath + Savalas, is a smooth and abstract connection between the genres of post-rock and intelligent dance music. Certainly, German bands such as To Rococo Rot, Kreidler, and Schneider TM work similar magic, but their omnipresent percussive backbeats keep them in a cleaner, more accessible vein than that of Savath + Savalas. It is because of Herren's dedication to abstraction that Folk Songs remains extremely unpredictable and succeeds without being entirely beat-driven. With Folk Songs, Herren weaves a complex tapestry of atonal guitar flecks and distorted electronic hums and buzzes. Herren even extrapolates some of the songs' central themes from digital sound-processor glitches. At times, Folk Songs becomes a suggestive criticism of modern recording gear (and other technologies), as the glitches begin to steal the focal point from any melodic tones. In doing so, Herren creates an organic mix of acoustic and electronic instrumentation that travels a great distance — and in many different directions. His wide arrangement of instruments leaves him plenty of room to experiment and he keeps things constantly moving forward. An adventurous debut record.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Started in 1998, Savath & Savalas was created as a way for left-field producer Scott Herren (best known for his work as Prefuse 73) to explore his more instrumental and acoustic tendencies. His first full-length, Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey, an experimental, glitchy affair, came out in 2000, followed by the EP Rolls and Waves in 2002 and the much folkier Apropa't — which featured vocals from Catalan singer Eva Puyuelo, who Herren met when spending time in Spain — in 2004....
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Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey, Savath & Savalas
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