Le Millipede

N 042LP N 042LP

LP version. Includes download code. 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. Accordingly, it should come as no 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, 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 France-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 disarming naïveté. While 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, Götz used a vast range of percussion instruments, including 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, and 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; he actually studied jazz trombone and composition (after learning 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 also plays in bands as diverse as Micha Acher's Alien Ensemble, the Münchner Hochzeitskapelle, the Unterbiberger Hofmusik, and various big bands. Following a 2007 EP with Robert Alonso as RoBErT GoEtZ, Le Millipede is Mathias Götz's full-length debut.