savath+savalas – folk songs for trains, trees and honey

this is folk music like the swedish mountain blues, covered earlier, was blues. it’s not what you expect (though a little more of what i’m coming to expect of music in my collection that signifies something with clear definitional boundaries but breaks or just ignores them). some might argue it entails redefining boundaries, maybe questioning staid categories; but i am yet to be convinced on that.

the first song, um beginning, starts with false vinyl record crackle (i’m instantly cynical), but becomes a little more akin to what actually makes sense for the name. it feels like music to listen to when on a train watching trees and towns pass by rapidly. in fact, most of the album sounds more about the mechanical of the trains than the natural implied by the trees and the honey (what about the bees?).

while some conventions are employed, this seems to be the most artistic thing listened to so far (but also verging on ambient adult contemporary – there, i said it). i say “so far” mainly because i’m not ruling out there being more esoteric sounds buried in the remaining 250-odd pieces. having said that, this belongs to (though predates) the work of the same person, credited here as scott herren, as prefuse 73, about which i have read much but ventured nowhere near.

would this album make me want to, knowing it’s not the same, but also just knowing it? again, i’m not convinced. it is appropriate to listen to music like this when my eyelids are half-shut, brain tuning in and out, mind occasionally elsewhere (including near sleep-state).

but in those times, it serves some purpose – perhaps not its main purpose though. were i an entertainer in my home, promoting a vision of myself as a someone cooler and more central to others’ lives than anyone imagined; windows open, breeze blowing through, coloured glass filled with chilled coloured cocktails; conversation about trends with so-called beautiful people – this would be the soundtrack.

i am, and do, none of those things, so i must be content with making sense of this on a very personal, singular level. maybe, then, it’s simply an apparition.

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