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Total Folklore


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Audio CD, February 19, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

#140 - Best Albums of 2013 - Louder Than War

Armed with an arsenal of thriftstore pedals and noisemakers splayed across his lap, Dan Friel has spent the last decade home brewing electronic music that is equal parts ragged, punk, psychedelic and glorious. Following the recent Valedictorian/Exoskeleton EP, which was called a giddy, abrasive gem by Under The Radar and bottled raw power by the BBC, Total Folklore retains the melodic prowess of Friels previous work while harnessing considerable rhythmic power to back it up. In a preview of the LP after his sold out show with Black Dice in London, No Ripcord said it was an experimental record to savour and further confirm Dan Friel as one of the most exciting musical witchdoctors around.

Total Folklore is an urban album, the jagged, overblown electronics mimicing the grit and chaos of Brooklyn. As a fan of the epic walk, Friel channeled the commuter while writing and recording these songs. In fact, many songs are paced specifically with walking in mind. The album is peppered with recordings Friel made on his phone while walking around cities, from the sound of kids playing basketball in Brooklyn to the sound of a Con Edison strike in Manhattan, to the sound of the inside of a panchinko parlor in Tokyo. The album opens with the majestic Ulysses, a 12-minute epic anchored by crunching beats and shimmering arpeggios before launching into Windmills and the instantly arresting Valedictorian. Throughout, Friel includes short intermissions, improvisations and field recordings, as if the listener is waiting on the corner for the walk signal. From the screeching glissando of the synths of Scavengers to the frenetic pulse of Thumper, Total Folklore captures the energy and irreverence of punk, while keeping a foot firmly planted on the streets of electronic pop.

Except the aforementioned phone recordings, Total Folklore was recorded by Friel at home on a computer purchased in 2001 running OS9, perched on a three-legged desk. This minimalism is an integral part of the albums sound and feel, a bit nostalgic and completely frayed around the edges. The Yamaha Portasound keyboard heard on the record is from 1984, and was Friels first instrument. While Total Folklore will appeal to fans of both the harshest noise and the purest pop, it never feels like it is treading a safe middle ground. This is the sound of unfiltered excitement: blurry, euphoric, and turned on.

Review

...they are marches and rockers, with melodies running at speeds from processional to punk while whizzing, crashing, sliding, beeping, chirping sounds ricochet all over... It s a merry onslaught. --New York Times

Opening with the rosy tones of what might be a carillon ringing three counties away, Valedictorian; quickly launches into an overdriven surf-punk hoedown that sounds like Dan Deacon covering Madonna's Open Your Heart; all piledriving drum machine and dueling kazoos, piercing as an ice-cream headache. --Spin

... ecstatic, noisy keyboard-based stuff that, as on Valedictorian, is full of technicolor chirp, sugar-rush whoosh, and a bucket of adrenaline. --Stereogum

Opening with the rosy tones of what might be a carillon ringing three counties away, Valedictorian; quickly launches into an overdriven surf-punk hoedown that sounds like Dan Deacon covering Madonna's Open Your Heart; all piledriving drum machine and dueling kazoos, piercing as an ice-cream headache. --Spin

... ecstatic, noisy keyboard-based stuff that, as on Valedictorian, is full of technicolor chirp, sugar-rush whoosh, and a bucket of adrenaline. --Stereogum

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B00AHN0FVO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,061 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

Armed with an arsenal of thriftstore pedals and noisemakers splayed across his lap, Dan Friel has spent the last decade home brewing electronic music that is equal parts ragged, punk, psychedelic and glorious. Following the recent Valedictorian /Exoskeleton EP, which was called “a giddy, abrasive gem” by Under The Radar and “bottled raw power” by the BBC, Total Folklore ... Read more in Amazon's Dan Friel Store

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nonce on March 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was a Parts and Labor fan (Friel's former band) earlier on when they were more frenetic, and all of that mix of joy and frenzy is captured here; I find myself listening to this over and over again because there's something so skillful and compelling about how the bright melodies are caked in corrosion that makes you want to go back and re-listen.

Opener Ulysses is the highlight but the whole album is quality stuff; my only gripe is that I wish some of the other tracks were longer, like Valedictorian or Thumper. Otherwise, though, well worth your entertainment dollar.
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By Bingo Sanchez on April 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Dan Friel strikes a perfect balance between ear-hook melodies and grating noise. Imagine an Atari 2600 singing punky versions of unheard Beatles songs. "Ulysses" raucously opens the album with 10+ minutes of transcendental oscillator madness. Wielding just a small keyboard and a lapful of guitar pedals, Friel is able to craft incredibly symphonic and detailed noise-pop. "Valedictorian" might be one of the tracks of the year and has been playing almost daily at our house.
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