Golden Retriever is Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson, two musicians who met at the beginning of the last decade, when they formed a part of Au and Parenthetical Girls, respectively. They soon saw that they were in tune working together, which led to their first recordings, in 2008. Now they have landed at Thrill Jockey, where they will release “Occupied With The Unspoken” sometime this summer. The main idea in the four songs included here is to create polyphonic music with monophonic instruments like the clarinet or a modular analogue synthesizer. The result is an electro-acoustic music that is remarkable in its richly detailed textures, almost symphonic in its use of layers. Despite its experimental spirit, it is a collection of essentially melodic songs, taking its influences from free jazz, noise, classical music, pop, and minimalism.
The material was recorded live, in takes lasting 25 or 30 minutes for each one of the songs. To come up with the final version, the duo edited those recordings, trimming them, but also introducing new ideas in the process. These are complicated concepts that, all told, don’t prevent the work from being accessible for listeners. Or at least this is what Thrill Jockey promises us.
To get familiar with Golden Retriever, below these lines we leave you with three songs that they released last year.