09.29.13 — “Bagong Ava” “Bagong Hele” by Altos


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Bagong Ava” “Bagong Hele” by Altos (2013, from the “Bagong Ava” “Bagong Hele” single).

Altos is a 12-piece instrumental post-rock orchestra from Milwaukee. I wrote about them last August in preparation for the 2012 Hopscotch Festival, and then they completely blew me away on the first night of the festival. Go ahead and read those two posts. I won’t rehash them here.

I’ve probably mentioned it a time or two that Altos were my favorite show from Hopscotch, and I’ve played their debut three-track self-titled album a whole lot of times. I’ve mentioned them to friends and to strangers as one of my favorite new bands of the last three or four years.

The band is in the midst of putting the final touches on a piece of music that they’ve written to accompany a 1930 Ukrainian film called “Earth”. Sort of like that Yo La Tengo/ “Sounds of the Sounds of Science” thing. This Friday October 4, they’ll be playing their score as the movie is shown at the Milwaukee Film Festival. I’m sure they’ll release that score later.

Back in June, the band released a stunning 12-minute multi-part song with a dual title, and I have no idea what it means. Some folks are calling it an album. I’m calling it a song.

This is that song.

“Bagong Ava” “Bagong Hele” by Altos

Like a lot of their songs, this one has many parts. Many quiet/loud/quiet changes. Many orchestral/electric/orchestral changes. Those changes are what make everything so exciting. The one that happens at 4:51 is fun. The song is full of other tempo and style changes. Too many to list. In some ways, it is like an entire album of eleven songs jammed into one song.

I’m really hoping to see a new album or some other new release in early 2014.

You can buy “Bagong Ava” “Bagong Hele” at the band’s bandcamp page.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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