Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
Ghostly voices wander gradually forward as Kogarashi brings SPINN-002 to a start. The artist’s commanding style now very much asserted following Acoustic Nightcore. The track shows the artist is not seeking to pull punches coming off the back of the release, as Yoshi strings together emotive lyrics and heavy percussion. The moving instrumentation working itself into a frenzied and fast-paced breakdown as Kogarashi’s voice is dashed against aggressive kick drums. Characteristic of the artist’s gentle talent however, things melt back into the choral voices.
Some sort of depressurising process welcomes us to twofold’s inclusion. Bells play out into an unsure atmosphere of metal and water. This strange environment is barely shaped in our mind before I Want to Bring Them Back’s subtle textures are rocked by an electromagnetic pulse of arpeggiation and bass, clattering percussion riding on top of the wave as well. Things simmer down and the quiet atmosphere emerges once again, wracked with more emotion this time instilled by beautiful piano and a wavering synth. The gentle shifts from heartfelt to eerie are barely noticeable, as twofold manufactures a feeling that lies somewhere in between the two. The instrumentation is carefully engineered to inspire a feeling of tension, only broken by an enormous synth threatening to rip through at one point. That feeling can cause the listener not to give complete attention to the evolution of the more gentle melodies twofold has laid out, as they grow in stature and emotive poignance. The track is well timed and feels precious.
Things get a little more club as kick drums pull us into Zvrra’s Sonata. With each impact comes a rhythmic vocal sample that bubbles up through water, it instils an organic feel to the track, softening its formulaically dance edges. Carefully placed synths and percussion fade and emerge throughout, with things building gently as the track goes on. Sonata is certainly one of the more hypnotically constructed tracks on the compilation, with Zvrra using the runtime to pull us deep into this gloomy club atmosphere.
Harsh dissonance launches us into a beautiful clearing of twinkling synth and a cushion of sub bass. Shay.'s Spectral Bath is almost instantly uplifting, as heartfelt instrumentation spreads out over a smooth pink landscape. A subtle rapidly moving bass begins to emit from somewhere down below, a mere taste of the solid forms that are to come as earth-shattering bass bursts through glacial ambience. There is a feeling of freedom, the track's likeness to a video game soundtrack conjuring a sense of infinite possibilities. But our unhindered sprint through this beautiful realm starts to decrease in speed, the ground beneath us moving slower and slower, within a moment the sweet surroundings have faded and we are left with humming noise in a cold and dark environment.
Twinkling bells become more dulcet, turning from mystical Nintendo tunes to a grime-y instrumental on FLOOR BABA’s inclusion GEM HOARD. Percussion breaks through, with heavy bass notes galvanised by kick drums as vibrant melodies float out in a multitude of colours. A wiggly lead melody snakes behind the menagerie warm synth bells and chords. The sound is one of comforting vitality, the beat providing a solid and fairly predictable ballast for interesting melodic switches to occur. Our dulcet bells and bass suddenly shift to a more positive, longing sequence before a crescendo cuts the ties that bound the bells together as they tumble into dissonant timidity, whilst the bass and percussion march on unhindered.
Digital viscera and dissonant noise swirl in the middle distance, an amorphous trying to force itself into some sort of uniform rhythm. Glitched sound leaks from its orifices as it does so, Trash Panda QC’s creation trying to find a more sophisticated form. lava last is beautiful in its declining of sleekness, disorientating metallic noise and sporadic bleeps falling as it trudges onwards with an unbalanced step. There is a landscape beyond as the form recedes at certain points, strange oscillating distortion seems to spray out into the distance. However, every time we try to look behind the glitching entity its incendiary nature pulls our focus back.
A steely note signals the start of downhill, the straightforward nature of the noise gradually co-opted as chaotic humming and rapid jungle samples begin to fly toward the listener. Glissando notes seem to attempt to instil some sort of decorum to proceedings before being wiped away by percussion that starts to hit like lightning-quick punches to the gut. Suddenly, after a fit of phlegmy laughter, the track drops into a more straightforward jungle format. Sub bass pushes out, with fast-paced cymbals and snare following in tow, trying their best to avoid the incessant obstacles x.nte leaves out. Apocalyptic kick drums and vocal samples begin to land in rapid succession, the damage causing a fairly defunct soundscape to emerge, the track lying in rubble. From there, emotive desolation follows, the artist leading us full circle back into a chaotic farce of drums and dissonance.
gossamarie and alptrack join forces on the next addition, laboured breathing leading toward an austere combination of delicately warped vocal samples and misty pad chords. The artists launch into a muddy kick drum as ghostly notes whiz by into an uncertain soundscape. The duo successfully manage to make a roughly textured piece, with both a gentle spirit and heavy-hitting percussion.
On one of the few noticeably direct instalments on the compilation, a buoyant kick drum gives a simplistic beat for a hypnotic bass melody to settle into. WTCHCRFT interrupts the crisp, four-to-the-floor style with scratchy vocal samples. Just out of earshot, the voice instils an uncanny undertone to the track, supported by the spooky repeated note. As eerie as GaG rfLx is, the beat is undeniably hypnotic, and stays close to the listener through the whole runtime.
Swift jungle percussion judders as expired lean into hope begins. nohighs builds the instrumentation bit by bit, layers of reversed and rapid-fire snares and cymbals beginning to swirl on top of each other. Soon dizzying rhythmic vocal samples are helping the track reach a disorientating peak, and just as the frenzied jersey club vibe seems ripe to burst, a wave of cool synth pads washes all the intricacy aware. ‘Your time has expired’, a voice repeats as the instrumentation goads us to carry on moving along with nohighs, despite the warning. We slip past and through to a crowded room as the jungle percussion hovers through the room. Whistling feedback seems to reiterate to us the latent power the artist has at their disposal, keeping us focused on moving through the room in front of us as halcyon keys dance about in the aether. The giddy vocal samples emerge once again, but we seem to have outstayed the events runtime as we are left in the midst of a social situation. It is hard to know whether to make ourselves known to the people surrounding us or just try to get our head together before we leave.
Vibrant electronic percussion boots up into life, icy stepping stone synth notes in tow behind on Rei Low’s addition (an artist we covered in listencorp #001). Kick drum beats begin to hit thick and fast as the artist makes us feel at home in a crisp, cold atmosphere. A delicate creation, Staring Directly Into a Lunar Eclipse’s fragile melodies do not crack under the immense pressure of a thudding electronic kicks and sharp, resonant dissonance. The track hits with the energy and brevity of a fun side quest.
alptrack appears for the second time, on this occasion crafting an eerie dance track alongside sepha. Off-kilter choirs sing out a little nervously, set upon by muddy kicks and gritty percussive noise. The incessant beat seems to lure the listener down a dark and eerie path, before heavy percussion begins to lunge from the shadows. As the track progresses though, a galvanising vocal sample causes the horror movie facade to melt away. Snares begin to rattle and the artificial voice sets us in a basement club, the cacophonous percussion sparking like strobe lights, the aqueous arpeggiations like sweat dripping from the walls.
girl_irl’s sour bursts through with a texture not unlike napalm, every aspect of it incendiary and granular. Though this is the case, there is the unmistakable energy of dark industrial dance music in the barbed percussion and the screeching bass that bares its teeth repeatedly. The artist instils some unexpected instrumentation in the form of a violin that is dragged up and down by the powerful beat. As this disappears, trickling ambience surrounds the now exposed violin, before girl_irl drags it down in pitch stabbing at with razor sharp percussion. Though the original beat is reprised, the moment leaves the listener with a very vivid understanding of the artist’s production power.
imagine a scenario where you die alone makes itself known very timidly at first, despite its direct and unapologetic title. A marching beat emerging from digital ambience, a rattling snare shooting out into a shifting fog of deep sounds. Slimey bass frequencies begin to trudge through the obscuring haze, delayed tones dripping from them. At the midpoint, when it seems that resonant bass has all but submerged the track entirely, a synth scale begins to bleat outwards, shifting the attention a little toward a plodding melodic narrative that walks in step with the kick drum. American Jade keeps things murky throughout the runtime, crafting a unique sludge-y feel.
Things take a turn toward a vaporwave-adjacent sound as Pursuing Paradise closes the compilation. Muddy heartache blares to the point of fuzziness, the artist pulling distortion toward different frequencies uncovering different crevices of the sample. Dark doldrums shift into panning visions of paradise as a new, clearer sample begins to revolve around the listener’s head. The sound ducks out completely at points, only to reemerge in an unpredictable manner. The voice is sickeningly passionate and leaks out of unexpected junctures as the artist creates a disorientating feeling in contrast to the directness of muslos’s beginning.
For all that can be said about SPINN-002 and the fantastic artists that jumped aboard the compilation, its artwork is a perfect testament to its distinctive contents. On it, we find tracks that are unbelievably vibrant and inventive in their use of sound, as well as daring and uncanny in their implementation of darker, colder sides of electronic music. The individuals on the compilation span a great deal of genres, but the inclusion of each and every one of them on the compilation makes for the most beautiful menagerie of artists.