October 7, 2013
Apollo Records is very proud to welcome the explosive young talent that is Oliver Tree Nickell to the label with this utterly extraordinary release. The Santa Cruz resident has already been around the musical block, including time in various teenage bands plus success on the west coast DJ scene in his teens, but now – at an age when most artists are only starting their explorations – he emerges as a fully mature artist, beyond scene and style, able to stand proud among the great mavericks of modern music.
‘Demons’, with its rapped-sung-spoken vocals is an amazing, creepy-crawling yet sensuous track, bringing to mind ‘Maxinquaye’-era Tricky yet with a 21st century electronic clarity to the microscopic detail of its off-kilter percussion that matches the best of Tree’s production idol Flying Lotus. ‘Rabbit Hole’ is even more intense, an audio movie with its epic narrative unfolding through monumental bass tones, synth arpeggios that Rustie would be proud of, sweet orchestral melodies emerging through storms of sound, and again those soft vocals bringing humanity into the futurist trip. The audacious take on ‘Karma Police’, meanwhile, has Tree taking centre stage, his own distinctive singing and rap verses making Radiohead’s original completely his own; the blurring of the lines between acoustic and electronic, intimate and monumental, fear and defiance on this simply stagger the senses. And each track is so rich, so meticulously crafted beneath its boggling immediacy, that you will discover more and more with every listen – and make no mistake, this is a record you WILL put on repeat play.
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