Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Artist of the Day: Mylets

I often find myself being very skeptical of one-man bands.  My initial thought is always the same: Is it really that hard to get along and play with other musicians? Henry Kohen, the mastermind behind Mylets' euphoric, loop-driven melodies, certainly seems like he could use some help on stage, as he is simultaneously playing, singing, setting tempos, tapping pedals and using his almost never free hands to program percussion among loads of other instruments, but just because he's somehow amazingly doing everything by himself doesn't mean he's some self-obsessed diva, too good to work with anyone else.  In fact, Kohen was the only member of his old band willing to completely give up his life for music, and seeing where he is now, I think it's fair to say he made the right choice.

Currently on tour with And So I Watch You From Afar and TTNG, Mylets opens the show every night with an absolutely mind-blowing set of tight, one-man virtuosity, ranging from lush, simulated full-band cuts like "Seven Diamonds Plus One," to the vocally intense, but somehow still beautiful pieces like "Hungover Tehran."  In "Ampersand," Kohen traverses the greatest distances across the musical landscape, beginning with a lone guitar loop that grows into a catchy passage of rhythmic glory, until it descends to a single riff once more.  The song concludes with percussion, guitar, keys and perfection, definitively proving that Kohen can easily steer the ship himself, which, coincidentally, is no longer simply a one-man operation.  The other members are just on the other side of the stage now, and there are thousands of them, and counting.


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