>>EAR009 - Skytree - Knotwork
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Skytree - Knotwork is the follow up to The Dagda EP, which I reviewed in March. Knotwork features more breaks, backwards guitars, glistening bells and string samples. Four Tet comparisons are obvious, but it looks like Skytreeís developing his melodic lines more, with a sentimental quality that reminds me of Ulrich Schnauss.

Lucid Praire has an amazing classical guitar riff that really drives the track from its ambient openings. Skytree skillfully manipulates the riff somewhat, adding reversed effects here and there, and closes on an unexpected melancholic reworking of the sample. Knotwork uses guitar sounds again, this time steel-strung and metallic. There are wind instruments in the background, creating an odd combination of eastern and American sounds.

Skytree clearly prefers a certain type of drum loop, and itís testament to his abilities that you donít notice them. They work so well, they neatly accompany the melodic material, until suddenly he breaks out into a drum solo of sorts and you realise they were there all along. There are more ďsynthĒ sounds on this release, ambient analog pads, used particularly well in In a Mery Mornynge. Sometimes samples are slightly distorted and layered up, giving a lot of seemingly simple tracks a depth that isnít always easy to notice.

Skytree - Knotwork is clearly a high quality release, but itís so good that Iím worried people wonít notice it. Next to currently popular electronica, it sounds good, it sounds like a commercial release, but thereís nothing original enough to get it noticed. Itís clear Skytree is competent, and has very firm ideas about what sounds good, but to get noticed and to get the credit he deserves he needs to do something slightly original. Then again, by putting this stuff out for us to download and enjoy for free could be all he needs.

- Alex Young, Milieu

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