Savath and Savalas are also known for recording as Prefuse 73. "Golden Pollen" can be heard in many ways: as a tribute to the explorations of Brazilian tropicalia pioneers like Tom Ze and Caetano Veloso; as a dreamy soundscape from the post-rock world of Low and Kings Of Convenience; as a tribute to the haunting Catalan folk songs of Guillermo Scott Herren's heritage. However you take it, the record is an intoxicating gem that reveals new facets to fans familiar with Herren's previous work. An ambitious set of vocal arrangements that nod as much to avant-garde classical music as to late Brian Wilson. For fans of Jose Gonzalez, Thievery Corporation, Bebel Gilberto, Air, Caetano Veloso.
Savath & Savalas is just one man, and he may be the States' best answer to Argentina's Juana Molina
. Known as Prefuse 73
in his more electronic pursuits, Scott Herren writes, performs, and produces Savath & Savalas, and though the resulting Spanish-language somnambulism owes everything to the strain of South American fringe-folk gaining popularity in the U.S., the dedicated subtlety fueling this music is all his own. Songs cascade along in loping forward motion, as prone to lushly orchestrated decomposition ("Apnea Obstructiva," "Te Amo...Por Que Me Odias") and succulent adagio ("Faltamos Palabras," "Olhas") as they are to the simple, charismatic sense of melody that propelled S&S on 2000's Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey
and, even more so, 2004's Apropa't
. As usual, Herren invites a few guests who make immediate sense in context. The most immediately successful of Golden Pollen
's collaborators is the Swedish José González
, whose vocal touches on "Estrella de Dos Caras" ("Star of Two Faces") lends the track the added sonic bloom that raises the best Savath & Savalas songs from mere Latin lullaby to transcendent, cross-cultural devotion. --Jason Kirk