Of The Trees’ Harvest brings rock solid grooves and tasteful complexity to experimental bass music.
Of The Trees is continuing to prove himself as a producer with incredible range. Just in the last two years, he’s released beautiful vibey tracks like “Dream Atlas”, full-bodied emotional masterpieces like “6AM”, and heavy bangers like “Our Hero Returns, Pt. 3”. His latest release, Harvest, fills out his portfolio with a cohesive group of four mid-tempo, bouncy tracks that are sure to make you dance.
Based out of Maine, Of The Trees is renowned for some seriously wub-tastic tunes. Having worked alongside experimental bassmates Toadface and Yheti, Of The Trees continues to create exquisite works of art within the genre.
Download or stream Harvest on your favorite platform and read on for a track-by-track review!
Listen to Of The Trees – Harvest on SoundCloud:
“Everglade March” starts out with some elegant metallic tones reminiscent of a steel drum, rebounding from left to right.
When the bass line and drums kick in, they give the track a lively feel that gradually steps up in intensity. Then a fast-paced tambourine carries the listener headfirst into a wall of wubs pulsing with every beat. Presumably sticking with the marching theme, Of The Trees then swings different parts of “Everglade March” from left to right, including the vocals and synths, which I thought was a really nice touch.
What I love most about this tune is how dependably, yet creatively, it carries the listener through every beat. Lovers of house music often cite that house is one of the easiest genres to dance to because of its reliable bass line. But here Of The Trees managed to make a song that I’d argue is just as easy to dance to, while keeping listeners engaged in its complexity. The proverbial hand-rail repeatedly shifts between the wubs, vocals, or pitch-bent synths, but you always have one of those things to grab ahold of on every beat.
This reliable rhythmicality carries through the entire EP, making it incredibly fun and as great for a dance party as it is for everyday listening.
The solid drum line continues right off the bat in the second song, “Harvest”. A looped child’s voice and echoing flute entrance the listener, and gave me the feeling of being in a large space. The intro is also thick with fuzz, which sounded a bit like rain to me. Out of the blue, the melody suddenly bends downward, and some fast snares carry us into the most aggressive, distorted drop of the entire EP. But then, just as quickly, the guttural sounds pull back into harmony with the drums and tie in a pleasant groove with the flute from the beginning.
I love how this song plays with my emotions – it starts by relaxing me, then knocks me on my ass with a series of jarring whomps, and finally picks me back up with an energetic groove that ties the whole song together. The three distinct emotions carried by the song again prove this producer’s incredible range.
“Old Growth” stands out from the rest of Harvest in the beautifully somber vibe that it brings.
A steady beat pervades here as it does in the other tracks, giving the tune a good level of energy. But the gentle tones that start “Old Growth” – and continue in the background throughout – produce an eerie beauty that makes me stop to consider what it might mean. Perhaps the artist wants to instill a respect for our plant friends and neighbors who have been around much longer than us. My favorite moment of the entire EP comes just after the 1:50 mark, when a tambourine, and vocal tones on the upbeat, create a really strong and interesting rhythm. The song then ends with a whisper: “I’m sorry.”
“Durin’s Tower” brings a feeling of trudging down a long path, or maybe up a tall tower’s staircase given the Lord of the Rings reference.
There’s consistency in the beat, but there are also tons of creative flares – a number of metallic sounds, wood clacking, coins dropping, and bells ringing. “Durin’s Tower” takes what you’d first think were transient sound effects, and makes them part of its backbone. Then, when the bass hits elongate, the track seems to slow as we’re caught up in the waves of deep melody. At the end, “Durin’s Tower” fades into a series of distant blips, closing the EP very similarly to how it started.
Harvest shows us that experimental bass music can be complex and ever-changing, but also consistently groovy and easy to dance to.
I had the good fortune of seeing Of The Trees perform at Organic Fest just a month before this release, and he had the crowd going harder than any other set that weekend. He puts on an incredible live set and is just as exceptional of a DJ as he is a producer. I can’t wait to hear what he releases next, and judging by this latest release, any new music by him will surely have my attention.