|It’s been a good amount of time since folks started drooling over whatever might be called IDM. In fact, it’s been such a long time that subtle variations on the made up genre have insinuated themselves into the culture of electronic music. Foltronica or laptop folk kinda make any sense as placeholder names - folk music is passed down from generation to generation. And if samples of acoustic instruments wind up being included in electronic musics, it all seems valid. But there is, obviously, that old journalistic problem of trying to slot everything new into an old place. Whatever.|
Zoon van snooK, serving as one of this new things getting pushed around, does clearly owe a debt to a few of the decade’s earlier kitchen-sink-and-all producers – Four Tet, Caribou, etc. With those two references, though, it’d be easy to gloss over van snooK’s penchant for amped up electronic dance music. This isn’t just pastoral folk strumming shot through with a beat or two cribbed from Portishead. Present on his first long player (Falling From) The Nutty Tree, released through Mush Records, are the prerequisite fey countryside tunes. But all those quick step electro based shenanigans temper the calm melodies.
“Plainsong” begins with what sound like some tripped out marimbas either snatched from a recorded and gussied up, or played live and digitally manipulated so as to eventually make it all sound like a gamelan composition. The rhythmic back to this sounds something like a distant thunder clap – but not one that would frighten a sleeping kid. More like a bit of thunder we know is going to eventually bring about showers needed to water some crops. What winds up being amazing about not just “Plainsong,” but van snooK’s disc in general, is the quick shifts in tone. Sticking with that same song, a portion functioning as a bridge to a third section incorporates distant droning monk singing before stepping off into a dreamy, piano based section.
All that talk of disparate sounds sharing equal space, though, doesn’t mean (Falling From) The Nutty Tree is void of out and out dance tracks. “Cuckoo,” the album’s second track, shuffles off willfully digital sounds, perhaps best accompanying a race scene from a futuristic sci-fi flick where everyone’s tooling around in space ships. By now, if you’re set to enjoy this disc, you already know. As for fence sitters, any apprehensions are probably going to be bared out at some point here – better just stick to Rounds. - Rap Talk