Music From The Trees
Pregnant Void Records
TBR: 15th October
What began as a two year research project, looking at the humanitarian symbolism behind trees, has now resulted in this fantastic vinyl and CD release. Trees inspire philosophy, art, literature, and spirituality with their structure, their grace, and their seasonal cycles. This rich and deep anthropological architecture which trees speak to can only be explored and celebrated. This is a remarkable album. Through a merging of the sciences and the humanities, these biological creations of Earth are our distant relatives.
All the life on Earth has a common ancestor, the miracle of the functioning cell occurred only once. We know this because on the very basic level, the molecules used by life are the same across the whole ecosphere. If conditions on the early Earth were so perfect, and life took a-hold only once, how likely is it to happen at all? Could it be that some external force put the whole process in motion? The majority of life on Earth is single celled. There are huge numbers of life-forms which are tiny, and only a sliver of the pie represents life that has size. Macro-life like animals and plants are perhaps the gods of this Earth, far superior and with considerably more freedom than any other. Even a plant can choose where to grow, which leaves to let go of.
Plants Dub is made up of three like-minded plant enthusiasts. Based in Lecce, Italy, art historian and light designer Maria Teresa Santoro, Francesco Andriani De Vito aka Dubin, dj and producer, and dub master and producer Andrea Presicce aka NoFinger Nails, have focussed their research and creativity into this one album. By combining electro-dub with bio-harmonics found through strict research, Plants Dub open a corridor of communication between us and our plant based brothers and sisters. We can tell them our story through the medium of sound, how do you think we would get a response? Have you ever heard the whispering of the trees?
Acanthus Mollis begins with a shivering pulse that is matched by a wavering synthesiser. A kick drum bashes out a distinctive intro fill before new drums crash in with an upbeat tempo. Abstract shimmers of sound waft across a wall of rhythm while abstract melody builds behind. A surge of chiming bells rings across an open space, their melody dreamy and child-like. Ornamental instruments create unique sounds which continually push the music in branching directions. The sound of moving cars briefly cuts in, perhaps to remind us that trees often live among the roads. More whispery bells strike a ghostly melody, before the track draws to a close.
Next, a skittery synthesiser revolves across a portion of scale. Behind this, a swerving tone slides across like a gate separating this from the other. It's left open, to flag in the wind like loose material. Beats break free, another smooth and upbeat percussion line drips with interesting sounds and sloshy cymbals. The various effects that are thrown at the instruments gives the swirling rhythmic feel we perhaps associate with forests. Birdsong calls out from the wilderness while tropical melodies continue to spiral up into the canopy. Morus is a fun and adventurous number, filled with harmonies and dashing fills of light melody.
Laurus Nobilis builds gradually from silence. Subtle sounds evolve and swell in distances unknown while from the sides, a pressure of tone builds until it fills the peripheral space. Squelching rumbles and breathing textures reach then fade to leave a small feedback wail which becomes the leading instrument. Again, subtle undertones bring harmonising expression. This minimal and inward track makes use of slightness and silence to build an interesting sonic space.
Turn the record over and we're met with a shining melody. Chiming tones radiate with glistening clarity while spring beats start to create an under-layer. Bells and stodgy synths create a dancing and twinkling abstract sonic image. The area is wise and with many spaces between the instruments, each element shakes on its physical plane as unseen energies decorate with glittering spray. Ambient and dream-like the combination of mild-mannered synthesiser tones walk across a topography of rolling soundscapes. Olea Europea builds like a wash of light through a thick vegetation high above our heads.
Quercus Ithaburensis begins with a pattering of percussion that's shielded by subtle synths. It's quiet in here, disinct silences are split by the injection of rhythmic placements and singing distances. Listen carefully, there's much going on in the spaces between the nothingness. An incredibly gradual rearing of the sounds occurs over minutes, more beats slowly grow to fill the texture before a melody of bells finally breaks free. Was this a seed that has just made sight of the sky? More slender melody works its way through the darkness to greet us with reverberating resonance. It's a relaxing journey through the consciousness of tree-life.
You can get your copy of Music From The Trees by Plants Dub on Bandcamp
Follow Plants Dub on Facebook
You also might like this book, Sibleys Guide To Trees. Any book sold supports us, so go nuts!
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
Thanks for supporting the documentation of underground electronic sounds!
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