I'm a sucker for a good horn music, but even I was skeptical that artist and musician Llyn Foulkes could pull it off with this strange contraption of drum, bass, xylophone, cowbell and car horns. Lots and lots of car and bicycle horns.
Well, color me impressed: the home made contraption aptly called The Machine, worked wonderfully!
Foulkes plays a homemade contraption called the Machine, a dense, wraparound nest of scavenged and invented instruments whose crowning glory is a clump of old-fashioned car and bicycle horns.
To play his original compositions, Foulkes squeezes the horns’ black rubber bulbs, triggers a drum with one foot, strums an electric bass with the other and picks up a pair of mallets to tap out a melody on a swirl of xylophone keys and cowbells. Sometimes he beats an empty plastic water jug. Oh, and he sings too. The results are both cacophonous and catchy, evoking the sideshow carny stylings of Tom Waits and the sound-effect-laden novelty songs of Foulkes’ first idol, the 1940s musical satirist Spike Jones.