A few weeks back, The Go! Team released their album Get Up Sequences Part One, which is a vibrant and kaleidoscopic collection of funk, psych-rock, hip-hop, and rap. The band’s main songwriter Ian Parton mentioned that some of the music’s ability to shift mid-song is meant to feel equivalent to channel-hopping. Part of the group’s colorful offering of sounds comes from the variety of instruments they use—glockenspiels, steel drums, and flutes. That last one is very important—so important that the group has made it the theme of a playlist celebrating the woodwind instrument.
“On the latest Go! Team album Get Up Sequences Part One, and all Go! Teams records, we try and use instruments that are underused in contemporary music: steel drums, banjos, kalimba, harmonicas, and particularly flutes,” Parton shares. “I love flutes. Sometimes airy and floaty, other times giving a badass funk swagger. The Go! Team has never been autobiographical, but more about pick and mix. Ramming together all the stuff you’ve loved through your life—a bit like the best parts of a holiday, or your life flashing before your eyes and remembering the best stuff. For me, the flute evokes the best stuff about life.”
Check out Parton’s picks below.
Graeme Miller and Steve Shill, “Moomins Theme”
The theme tune to a Finnish kids show, The Moomins. It so perfectly evokes the eerie Scandi otherworldliness. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. But it was actually created by a couple of British electronic music enthusiasts who were up for the challenge of capturing the fjords. A bit of music unlike anything else I’ve heard.
Le Orme, “Fiori Di Giglio”
Le Orme were an Italian ’70s psych/prog band—their name meaning “The Shadows” in Italian. Starting almost as an English pastoral theme, out of nowhere in busts an Italian schoolgirl with some spoken word. Bella bella.
Ennio Morricone, “My Name Is Nobody”
From the Western of the same name, this one is a big Go! Team inspiration—how can a piece of music be sad, cheeky, and groovy at the same time? I’ve never heard a recorder take front and center in a song before. Such an underused instrument.
John Barry, “Florida Fantasy”
From one of my favorite films, Midnight Cowboy—this song soundtracks Ratso Rizzo’s dream sequence where he’s imagining another life in Florida. Folks in Britain will also remember it as the theme to a BBC kids show called Wildtrack. These flutes are guaranteed to put glide in your stride.
Victims of Chance, “Victims of Chance (Part 1 & 2)”
Imagine yourself driving to Acapulco to this one! A psych Tropicália killer by a super enigmatic band. Check out the sudden left turn toward the end—like a good trip going bad.
My Bloody Valentine, “When You Sleep”
Prob my favorite band—better than everyone else because the songs were as good as the idea. Sounding simultaneously brutal and curvy, fierce and feminine. On Loveless it’s hard to tell what’s a flute and what’s guitar feedback meant to sound like a flute.
Patti Jo, “Make Me Believe in You”
Penned by the gentleman of soul Curtis Mayfield. The lyrics are a dream: “I’m hip to the lip” and “I ain’t no jive talking girl.” Showing the versatility of the flute—in this funk setting it gives a badass, prowling swagger.
Little Simz, “Offence”
Almost feeling like a modern successor to that Patti Jo song—for me this has an updated Blaxploitation kinda feel. I don’t dig all Little Simz songs, but for me this was the song of 2018, no question.
Francois, De Roubaix, “Piti Pit Pas”
From the soundtrack to the French comedy L’Homme Orchestra, which I’ve never seen. It’s a balls-out, headlong dive through a musical instrument shop, each left turn trying to outdo the one before it.
Poly Styrene, “Dreaming”
From Poly Styrene’s 1980 solo album after Xray Spex split up. It almost sign posts the birth of indie. It doesn’t sound radical now, but must have been a shock at the time. The album is drenched in flutes, and it bombed because the punks sure weren’t ready for that.