Le Millipede
Le Millipede
Alien Transistor
Includes Instant Download
N 42 CD
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1Happy Planet Index 2:54
2Gedanken 4:28
3Die Jährlichen Winde 4:08
4Rote Laterne 3:48
5Jobprogramm 3:53
6Rosa Rausch & Sara Glück 3:19
7Kollege 3:35
8Ypsilon 3:00
9Herbst 3:00
10Marmor 3:02
11Johann Palisa 4:44

It’s a well-known fact that millipedes, though frequently referred to as “thousand leggers”, actually have no more than 750 legs, usually way less. Correspondingly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the band Le Millipede is actually just one guy – who happens to play a whole lot of different instruments with his own two hands. He goes by the name Mathias Götz.

Arranging various layers of piano, xylophone and glockenspiel, stylophone, Moog and harmonium, Le Millipede creates minimalist, instrumental pop gems, tracks with an immediate quality that seem rather simple at first listen. In fact, Götz’s recordings are somewhat comparable to the work of French-born, Barcelona-based composer Pascal Comelade, known for his use of toy instruments. In both cases, there’s a certain childlike quality at work, a very disarming greenness and naïveté. Whereas Comelade often uses toy piano, Götz is particularly fond of the CASIO VL Tone mini-keyboard; and even though most people will associate said instrument with Trio’s “Da Da Da” single, Götz actually considers it a nod to artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Arvo Pärt, and Moondog.

In order to create the intricate beats of “Le Millipede”, he used a vast range of percussion instruments: maracas, claves, darbuka, seashells, mbira (thumb piano), davul, zils/finger cymbals, small bells, caxixi, and even mules’ teeth, occasionally joined by layers of tom-tom drums, snare, bass drum, cymbals. Another key element of Le Millipede’s sound is certainly the way Götz employs his voice: instead of foregrounding it and focusing on literal messages, he merely adds his vocal layers as yet another instrument.

Last but not least, there’s the trombone: An instrument that’s probably the most obvious hint at Mathias Götz’s background – namely the fact that he actually studied jazz trombone and composition (after having learned how to build brass instruments as an apprentice). And yet, his musical approach, tastes and skills are so wide-ranging and eclectic that apart from recording as Le Millipede, he currently also plays in bands as diverse as Micha Acher’s Alien Ensemble, the Münchner Hochzeitskapelle, the Unterbiberger Hofmusik as well as various big bands.

Having released an EP he recorded with Robert Alonso as RoBErT GoEtZ in 2007, “Le Millipede” is Mathias Götz’s debut full-length.