Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Brian Grainger & Millipede - Play Ancient Hylian Folk Songs, Volume II
(Milieu Music, 2011)
So, I think it's probably important that I admit, prior to featuring this brilliant, brilliant tape, that I only ever played the very first Zelda. Which isn't to say that I don't love video games, or the Zelda franchise at large; I just never had a Nintendo 64 (and yes, obviously didn't play any other Zelda titles on NES and SNES). I guess I'm more of a Final Fantasy nerd. Still, I do love the original Zelda and the bottom line, I suppose, is that I have major sympathies towards anyone willing to make a tribute album to something as awesome as Zelda (volume II!!).
But this tape requires no sympathy. Especially when the tribute/trouble-makers are as wildly talented and inspired as Millipede and Brian Grainger. Millipede takes the first 6 tracks and transforms whatever was previously Hylian folk into slabs of earth-scorchingly beautiful guitar-balladry. Joseph Davenport, AKA Millipede, just keeps getting better and better. It feels like it's not a new Millipede review on Forest Gospel if I'm not writing that its the best thing he's ever done.
Brian Grainger completes the tape with 4 fuzzed-out tracks of his own. The most wonderful addition being the final song, "Earth God's Lyric / Sage of Earth," a nearly fifteen minute masterpiece of layered, mutating, groggy-eyed bliss. In a perfect world, the song would soundtrack the game's closing credits, after Link comes away triumphant (or whatever). Possibly why it stands as the last song on the tape.
You don't need to love or even be familiar with the Zelda gaming franchise to be in love with this tape though. It's simply really good, gritty music.