Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
Soul▲Craft begins すべての終わりに with terminator-esque arpeggiations. Swiftly they creep in with a chattering hi-hat in tow. Already a strong sense of quickening rhythm is created. The bass line begins to exercise sparsity, piercing the film of arpegiatted notes at the end of each cycle. We wonder where the artist may be taking us. Happier, more explorative keys begin to take their place before the percussion cuts out momentarily. Soul▲Craft brings us back to the rich, slightly distorted hook. As we’ve come to know, the excursions of this artist can twist and turn at any given juncture.
A wobbling tune fires through to us at the start of TO FEEL HUMAN. It does have a sense of longing embedded within. Each burst of notes desperate to reach higher and higher. The percussion is rich with booming toms and sibilant hi hats. In both tracks so far, the percussion we’ve floated upon has been fully formed and rich with sound and intricacy. Another 80s-inspired snare shoots out like a screeching comet against the atmosphere.
POWER SWORD begins with more heavy set bass and percussion. Each track so far has sounded like it’s own sort of halcyon journey at the speed of light down a fast-moving, crowded road. The bass line burps it’s low tones as crystal synth notes appear above. A melody appears, a bold and adventurous one playing high above the murk of bass and drums. The sense of tension created by the artist is apparent, a slow build of bass and smouldering hi-hats quickly grows with the help of the persistently explorative melody. We hear voices now and again through the crashing sounds, but the sense of what they say is lost instantly, used more as percussive motifs than of actual audible speech. The incessant snare drum charges onward.
BLACK SKY’s rhythm is a bit more broken and skeletal. Soul▲Craft leads with a breathing synth line that searches out in the dark atmosphere created by the bass. It’s reverberations appear either side of us as we hurried forward by the hi-hats and heavy bass drum. The feeling emanating from these songs matches up perfectly. With them, Soul▲Craft charges into a nostalgic territory, the sense of longing trapped in each track is tapered through the 80s pastiche, allowing us to examine closely and comfortably.
照明 starts with winding metallic sounds. It soon gives way to a fully formed instrumentation. Another synth flows through the icy, glacial landscape. It sings like a star in the depths of winter. The percussion again creating this unending sense of rhythm with the use of hi-hats. The trumpets that appear are unexpected but do a lot to continue the melodic characteristics of the track. The lead synth improvises as we are slowly taken away from the scene.
A warm and wavering sample becomes distorted and heavy in front of us at the start MANLY HAIRCUT______. A fragment of repeated speech alongside a burning guitar loop. Soul▲Craft attacks us from the offset once again. A squelching synth sound plays out above the overdriven sample. A tom drum repeatedly fires across the bow towards us as well. We patiently wait for the tension to break as the heady guitar swirls around. The speech plays again, some male voice seemingly complimenting themselves.
DEVOTION fades in with a solemn jingle supported by a hazy deep bass sound behind it. A cymbal cracks the atmosphere every few seconds. Half way through the track Soul▲Craft changes the tune, slipping into a more archaic melody lost in low reverb and the warmth of the distortion.
INTO THE FIRE brings us back to the 80s as a main source of inspiration, the sequences drumbeat cries out as a small tune builds. The artist layers the songs perfectly, they feel crowded with interesting movements and instruments but not too busy to enjoy. Every so often an instrument will poke its head out from the cloak of crackling heat everything seems to be smothered with. The melody itself has an uplifting/action-y movie feeling. Again instrument and percussion are knitted together perfectly by the artist and we only truly understand the track building that has occurred until the sound slowly fades out and leaves us in silence.
Slow strings waltz into view for すべての終わりに. Bells play into the shadowy landscape. Meshed together with anticipating piano notes, a repeated note almost willing some great force to step forth. Unease mixes with twirling brilliance. Pads slowly lift the track as the bells float away from us momentarily. Soul▲Craft tinges the last track with a majesty that is not apparent in the ones leading up to the climax. The melodic processes are stunning, lulling the listener into a hypnotic state. The trills of bells echo into darkness in a slow-dancing rhythm. One string note plays out triumphantly at the very end, seeing us through to the albums conclusion.
Soul▲Craft perfectly blends percussion and melody in an unyielding embrace throughout the EP. A master of song construction and originality, The producer’s work is instantly recognisable, devilishly deep and a great deal of fun.
Listen in full/purchase here: https://houdinimansions.bandcamp.com/album/–2