Lone Rangers / Mylets Feature with Video from ArcTangent Festival


It was 16:50 on the Saturday of the ArcTanGent festival. It had been pouring down the night before and now Wellies sales were at an all-time high. Henry Kohen, aka Mylets, was about to go onstage. He had prepared everything a little earlier than expected so now he had 10 minutes to stand around and prepare himself. He seemed a little nervous. He finished his line check, came off stage, ran his hands through his hair and said ‘I need something to take my mind off things’. I had just taken some pictures on my phone of Henry with some of the local farmer’s pigs. I said ‘do you want to see the pigs again?’, to which he happily obliged. Cathy Pellow of Sargent House was there; she was offering to buy him pie, cake, anything he wanted after he finished his set. Hank Tremain of TTNG was telling random jokes to keep spirits up. After these brief interventions, Henry walked away, presumably to catch a moment with himself, then walked back onto the stage by himself and played in front of the thousands of festival punters… by himself. If Henry was indeed nervous, he had more right to be than any other musician at the festival. He was taking on the role of at least three musicians, maybe seven.

A while back we introduced you to bedroom musicians, those one-man-bands who perform, record, produce, master and distribute all their music from home. In this, the second part of our ‘Lone Rangers’ feature, we introduce you to one-man-bands who not only play multiple instruments, but play them simultaneously live on stage. Typically, this is achieved through the use of digital delay pedals and looping stations. Thus, such a feat requires not only delivering a reasonable performance on every instrument, but managing the accumulating layers of sound from each instrument at once…

…Remember how I said that Henry Kohen, aka Mylets, seemed nervous? It turned out he wasn’t nervous at all. As Mylets, Henry not only manages several guitar loops at once; he is also simultaneously programming rhythms into a drum machine. Henry had forced himself into playing this way because he craved performing. Looping and executing this musical juggling act onstage was only through necessity. “It wasn’t even a choice for me. I had to play shows, I love playing shows so much. No one else was playing shows, so what was I supposed to do? I wasn’t going to sit around and wish I could do this, I had to get out and be proactive.” Henry bought his first looping pedal, a Digitech digidelay, when he played alongside his brother in the band, Over Tehran. Today, the board is far more advanced. “Right now I’m using three Digitech Digidelays which I use for either rhythmic delays or short four second loops, or long delays. Those run into a Line 6 looping pedal, which I run drums and guitar into and then out into an amp, so that is how I get the full band.” Like Theo, none of the loops are quantized, or auto-corrected, so everything Henry does has to be extremely precise. “I think part of the fun is that it can mess up and it can blow up in your face. It’s more organic.” And it is astonishing to see how Henry’s live performance transcends what can be heard on Retcon, Mylets debut album. The live show at ArcTanGent was intercalated with a myriad of technical interludes, warped guitar effects, and other crazy musical non sequiturs. “Any sound I want is my responsibility, any mess-up is my responsibility. And I like that. It’s a lot of pressure and I feel like I operate better when there is a lot more pressure. And if I had someone else where I could be like ‘why did you screw that song up’, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to take it as seriously as I do playing by myself.” And at the end of his performance, the gratitude from the audience was entirely his.

To see full coverage go to FECKING BAHAMAS right here