Trees: Rootwork 12″ EP (Lovemonk, 2014)

April 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Trees: Rootwork 12" EP

Trees: Rootwork 12″ EP

First vinyl release from Ann Arbor’s own Charles Trees. This EP draws on several different shades of groove-based music, starting out on the title track with jazzy horns and drums, starting to drift away for a bit before a thumpy house beat comes in. But even this calms down during certain moments to spotlight the horns. Later a distorted acid bassline comes in, and the track segues into the next one, “Exodus”, a more stripped down house track with live instruments (delicate guitar, spare but funky wah-wah). “Get Adviced” opens with distorted kalimba and shaker-y percussion, and features rapping with a few curse words peppered in, an acid bassline, and a familiar James Brown breakbeat. The label on the record suggests that “Exodus” is the track with vocals, but it clearly lists “Get Adviced” as the 3rd track on the side, and that’s the one with vocals, so there must be some sort of error. “What’s Left” is another jazzy house track with horns, subtle guitar, and live jazz bass. Definitely a highlight of the disc. DJ F’s restructure of “Rootwork” loops bits of the jazzy drums and twists synth melodies into concentric patterns, creating a mesmerizing spiral of sound but not really progressing. Shigeto spends the last 9 minutes of the disc stretching out “What’s Left”, taking away the horns and (of course) emphasizing percussion, with lots of thumb pianos (some in reverse) and busy snares, plus some traces of subdued dub chords.

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