Wednesday, February 12, 2014

TWINK The Toy Piano Band: "Happy Houses"

Confounding the naysayers who don't consider the toy piano a "real" instrument, Boston's master of toy-tronica Twink, has just released yet another album, his eighth one I believe. It is appropriately entitled "Happy Houses," as you just can't make sad music on toy pianos. (Although I'd love to see some mopey goths try, wouldn't that would be interesting?)

At first glance this appears to be a somewhat modest effort: it's short (8 songs in a half-hour), doesn't have any gimmicks like sampled kiddie records or guest remixers that are found on prior releases, or the kind of elaborate artwork Twink is known for. Just a man and his toys (and electronics) simply backed by a few other cats on guitar, banjo, horn, flute, bass, and a mystery instrument called a 'playett.' But have no fear: this is some of Mr. Twink's best songwriting yet. The first two songs, "Close To Home" and "Ostrich Hop" (with an most un-childlike free-jazz sax solo) are instant Twink faves. "Gumdrop Glitter" has a '70s Moog disco feel. As the album progresses, things get more odd and experimental. Couldn't find any info on the  instrument called the playett featured on  the exotic waltz "Turtle Trap," but something on that song sounds like an mbira, the African thumb-piano, and something else sounds like a horn man playing a garden hose. "Interloodle" has an unidentified cartoonish flatulent sound that I really like - too bad the song's barely a minute-and-a-half long. The wacky electronics on "Crocodilly" move things into Perrey/Kingsley territory, and despite the ravey trappings of the epic "Frankentoy," I can't imagine any DJ having the nerve to play a song so festooned with clinking, clanking sound effects. Their loss, as it's one of the most ambitious things Twink has ever tried. Toy-prog?

Git tha album off of Twink's happy web-house. Click tha song title to be whisked off to DivShare land:

Twink - "Close To Home"

The FREE! web-release "Miniatures" is also pretty recent, and pretty wonderful.

4 comments:

AmericanSamourai said...

Thanks, Mr. Fab!

Tagir Ssadina said...

pls check this material http://ku100ta.tumblr.com/tagged/kitkat%20music/chrono
and label in common
i think you gonna like it

Running Over Rooftops said...

When I Google, "Great New Music", why doesn't this come up?

Mr Fab said...

I decided to actually Google 'Great New Music' and you know what came out on top? Pitchfork.

The internet don't work right.