Behold a Golden Throng, the massive 21-song recent release from The Research Triangle’s feltbattery, provokes a remarkable sense of wonder. On the one hand, the compositions of Benjamin Trueblood summon the tropes of the apocalypse, making prodigious use of field recordings with bees, locusts, and frogs. On the other hand, much of this loose concept record about the parallels between colony animals and human behavior transmits a prismatic, fantastic channeling of natural splendor through electronic static – not too disimilar from the approach of, say, Boards of Canada or The Focus Group, yet with an angle all his own. “Bivouac” opens the album with the ambient soundscape of nature films and scientific instruments before launching into loose, rhythmic birdsong on “Beat Harvest” and an omnious swarm of crawling samples and textures on “Coronation” Throughout, Trueblood showcases a unique accumen for using tonality and sound sculpture to overtly and accurately replicate the living world. At times a playful kaleidsocopic collage (“Sun Cycle,” “Tiny Hairs”) and at others a suffocating and sinister swirl of awe (“Woman With Skeps,” “Drona”), Behold a Golden Throng is both an extremely adventurous listen and also one of the most accessible noise albums since Black Dice’s Creature Comforts. Highly recommended.
feltbattery’s Behold a Golden Throng is available now on CD-R and MP3 via Migration Media.