Feltbattery's Behold a Golden Throng | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Feltbattery's Behold a Golden Throng 

Benjamin Trueblood, aka Feltbattery, has been collecting and sculpting the sounds that comprise Behold a Golden Throng for five years—recording swarms of bees, cutting those spans with electronics, and combining the bits into alchemical environments of digital and physical realities. Concurrently, Trueblood, a Hillsborough schoolteacher within the interdisciplinary Waldorf education system, read the works of Austrian theorist Rudolf Steiner, the fount of Waldorf's key ideas. Steiner's thoughts about the parallels between the human brain and beehives, as well as his recognition of humanity's dependence upon the honey bee, pushed Trueblood toward his own study of bees, the culmination of which is the 21-track, 71-minute Behold a Golden Throng.

Listening at first to Throng, it's tempting to dismiss the record's length as the excess of an obsessive; after all, if you'd spent five years thinking about and documenting a subject, would you want to trim the work to normal album-length confines? But this record's great expanses of ghosted melodies, electric tumults and static calms—so mimetic of nature's worry-and-rest tendencies—create their own immersive world of activity that is at times preposterously uneasy and at times preternaturally soothing. "Bien," for instance, opens with what sounds like sampled bird song, spliced and repeated so as to emphasize only attack. It's shrill and punishing, like a hair metal CD single stuck on the sharpest note of the guitar solo. "Haengekorb," however, finds Trueblood intoning beneath nature's captured quiet moments, like a bird in the distance and a splash in a nearby puddle.

The linchpin of Throng, though, and the real testament to Trueblood's suppliance to subject here, is that no single quality exists without its binary—that is, it's never enough to call any moment beautiful or another moment abrasive. Notice the sinister, persistent hum throughout "Haengekorb," suggesting a steady swarm doing its steady work in close proximity. Wait for the transitions within "Bien," like the sudden metallic clangs that sublimate into clouds of nearly musical overtones. There's a natural indecision within Behold a Golden Throng, or, more properly, a reluctance to be pretty or aggressive but, instead, just to bee. It's a wonderful and mature decision from Trueblood, one that makes certain momentary demands of the listener before delivering a seemingly endless slipstream of rewards.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Loud, live or Latin."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation