All Of The Coolest Instruments In The World Unite For A Single Album

Illustration for article titled All Of The Coolest Instruments In The World Unite For A Single Album

Here at Kotaku Melodic, we sometimes talk about music that doesn't turn up in video games. This week is no different! When I was writing about Botanicula earlier this week, I mentioned my well-documented bass clarinet bias; it's one of my favorite instruments, though I don't own one myself.


And okay, yes, my headline here has been bitten by the hyperbole monster somewhat. Whatever, they're my favorite instruments.

One of my favorite San Francisco clarinets (maybe my actual favorite) is a guy named Aaron Novik, and starting today (for a limited time), he's streaming his new album for free.

The album features his band "Thorny Brocky." That awesome band name, by the way, lifted from a Spammer's made up first name. Which is actually an excellent way to get band name ideas!

I wanted to embed a few tracks here. Partly because it features most of the objectively coolest instruments in the world (proven by science), played by some very cool players. The band is:

Aaron Novik: bass clarinet, compositions
Dina Maccabee: violin
Kasey Knudsen: alto sax
Marié Abe: accordion, piano, organ, fender rhodes
Lisa Mezzacappa: bass
Jamie Moore: drums

You can, of course, listen to the whole thing at the website of his label, Porto Franco records.

"Warfarin" is a groover. Can you identify the time signature? Actually, the main groove is just in regular ok' 4/4 time. Slow 4 with a lot of interesting subdivision going on under the hood. I may be tripping here, but I believe that Kasey's playing soprano on this track.


Plus, you'll get to hear Aaron do his "bass clarinet as bass" thing. Yesss.

"Mr. Chocolate" is good times—that's Kasey Knudsen on alto sax, she's super good. This band records really organically, and you really feel like you're sitting in the room with them. Dig Dina Maccabee's violin-playing—she's a sick local player who's played with everyone and their brother.


"Igor Stravisnky's Memorial Barbeque" has probably my favorite name of any song I've heard all week. It's also a rad song.


"Pear, Acidic" There are plenty more tracks on the site, but we'll close out with this one. I love Aaron's tone in the upper register of the instrument—that register is why Bass Clarinet is one of my total favorites. Lovely composition.


The album will be released as a limited edition 12" vinyl, but it'll also be available for purchase online. Better still, it's going to have a corresponding graphic novel that looks super cool.

These tracks won't be free forever, so listen while you can! You can check out Novik's other music here. Local folks, you could certainly do worse than to catch him in concert.


If there ain't no xylophone, it ain't the coolest instruments in the world. I mean, marimba and vibes are okay, but xylophone is where it's at. I mean come on, what other instrument tries to murder you (My xylophone has tried to kill me on multiple occasions...)? But these are totally awesome.