Debut release of the new TREES SPEAK double vinyl record. Trees Speak is a minimalistic, instrumental, experimental musical project I started a few years ago with Michael Glidewell, Damian Diaz, Gabriel Sullivan, Connor Gallagher, and Julius Schlosburg. We were lucky to have CinedelicRecords.com (Italy) sign Trees Speak to its amazing list of musical projects which include Ennio Morricone and Nora Orlandi.
Cinedelic Records, Italy
Let’s face it, when you fall in love with a band, you fall in love with their sound. Its music can remind you of a specific city or season, or nature itself, or all of that together. You’re in almost instantly, and stay throughout the journey (and within whatever about that mesmerizes you).
Trees Speak will find many (music) lovers. Their Arizona gorgeous introductory limited edition double LP sounds as if Earth itself built a freeway for its most imaginative, amorphous creatures. Everything is tick-tock crisp and yet languidly organic; its sensual motorik groove is invigorating, not industrial. It draws its inspiration everywhere from the isolating Arizona Desert (where it was created) to experiencing the Surrealist works of artists in the 20s. All 17 tracks, from “Soul Machine” to both parts of “Shadow Circuit” flutter and blossom around in sublime frequencies.
Trees Speak’s primary creator began with celebrated visual artist musician Daniel Martin Diaz (guitars, treatments, analog synthesizers, custom Theremin, Monotron), formerly of Blind Divine, Crystal Radio, and OTHERS. On the self-titled debut he is joined by Michael Glidewell (bass; Black Sun Ensemble), Gabriel Sullivan (bass; XIXA, Giant Sand), Connor Gallaher (Myrrors and Cobra Family Picnic), Damian Diaz (guitars, treatments, drums; Human Error), and Julius Schlosburg (drums; Jeron White Acoustic Trio).
The Eureka moment: “I was invited to give a lecture in San Francisco at the ‘Institute for The Future’ think tank,” Diaz explains. “One of the lecturers there gave a talk about future technologies and one of them was the concept of storing information/data into Trees and plants. Using them as hard drives. He also mentioned how Trees communicate collectively.”
Though a sort of “Clockwork Orange” — functioning as a dialectic between nature and what can be man-made — the cycle sounds as mindfully focused from its homemade instruments as any efficient and beneficial human relationship. “Michael, Damian, and myself have been writing together for over 10 years,” Daniel Martin Diaz says. “Gabriel, Julius, and Conner the last five years.”
THE ORIGIN STORY
“When Damian and I set out to record the first songs our main focus was the discipline of minimalism and never the intention of making a record,” Diaz says of his bands’ origins with his son. “Our only agenda was to challenge ourselves to write songs from a minimalist vanguard rock approach. We were lucky enough to have Cinedelic Records based in Italy discover TS on Bandcamp and they offered to release a double LP.”
You may have heard Diaz’s music from his previous outfit Blind Divine, which had been licensed to a phenomenal list of television shows, on MTV, VH1, A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Discovery, History Channel, PBS, the Weather Channel, all over the BBC, and many other networks. A lot of these are nature programs (which makes sense), but also includes Awards programs and the Roast of Joan Rivers on Comedy Central.
Much like how Miles Davis’ oeuvre can only be described as “pop music” in the sense that he explodes all other defining genres, the kneading rhythms of “Black Butterfly” and the tunneling drive of “Spirit Oscillator,” can be stacked with the Zen-jangle and swoon of “Ghost We Know” and the Jefferson Davis Highway-roiling album opener “Soul Machine” in the same sequence.
“Our intention is to create music with an unrehearsed minimalist approach performing simple beats, riffs, and sequences that take one inward,” Diaz says. “We attempt to create a sonic environment to set one’s mind free and to become aware of the nuances of tone, melody, and structure. We organize our recording equipment with the same approach, in a transparent manner. Our recorded performances are never rehearsed. Our belief is that a brilliant rehearsal is a lost opportunity to capture a magical moment. We are chasing the mystery of harmonics and tone. We let the musical performance sculpt its own destiny and create imperfect perfection. Our tool of creation is the anxiety one feels when they are unrehearsed or prepared for a performance. We believe this approach brings us closer to the authentic self. The result is genuine music without an agenda that captures the unfiltered spirit.”
Quite surprisingly, it was created live “in one room with no overdubs or repairs, only using edits to create arrangements,” Diaz says. “All tracks were written over a five-day period at Sacred Machine Studio and Dust & Stone Studio.” It was then Mastered by LOUD in the United Kingdom, with tape transfer at Waterworks Recording Studio back in the United States. The cover artwork to the luxurious packaging is by Beric Henderson from Australia. (The extended long player also includes a 12″ double-sided print, 5×5″ postcards, and two stickers in an edition of 250).
In more than one sense, this makes it real “world music” — sounding like the world itself, lovingly formed hot in one primal blast, while the completion of its creation having been shared all across it.
Beak, Cluster, KAEB, Suuns, Follakzoid, Can, Neu!, Silver Apples, early Kraftwerk.