CD Reviews 10 Mar 2006

adam the treeADAM THE TREE – The Seed EP

(2006   Self-Release)

Adam Jerzak, aka Adam the Tree, has been a stalwart supporter of local electronic music and his admiration for the art form has inspired him to create this compelling and hypnotic EP.  From the mellow, down-tempo drive of “Slow Seduction,” the EP’s introductory track, to the groovy, psychedelic techno of “The End is Near,” Jerzak demonstrates his breadth of talent as well as solid production skills.   He has created floor-friendly tracks that maintain a strong connection to the progressive and trancey elements made so popular by producers like Sasha and the trend-setting artists of Baroque Records.

Producers often get trapped into a tempo and their tracks pour out as variations on a theme rather than distinct musical compositions.  Jerzak never falls into this trap.  In classic techno style, he opens the disc super-chill, with disembodied moans introducing dark pads while slowly building the rhythm one piece at a time.  The tech-house drum loop that hits immediately in the next track, “To Drunk Too Fuck,” is anything but laid back.  When the sub bass line hits, you can almost feel the subwoofers flex to deliver the line.  The vocal samples, inverted and haunting, are reminiscent of Maurice’s “Feline,” a track that hasn’t left my crate in 5 years, with good reason.

Whirling samples and an understated kick usher in “The Tribal Stone.”  Jerzak, again displaying his ability to differentiate the cadenced elements, provides every drum-line ingredient with its own defined space.  The toms and congas usher in a dark and tight synth stab that will just destroy a throbbing dance-floor.  This is the best track on this disc, with its hypnotic elements adding context to the dark and edgy musical presence.  “The End Is Near” maintains much of the strengths of previous tracks, grabbing onto the grinding, rough lines and again challenging the low-end with simple, full bass stabs.  On this track, however, the components begin to bleed together and the sparse separation that gave the previous tracks on this disc their distinction is a bit lost here.  It is still a quality track, with slick flutters winding their way through the mix.  It just isn’t quite as fully developed as the previous tracks.

The final track, a rework of “Slow Seduction” into his “Lounge DJ Edit,” is a sparse and simple return from the ride.  Back in the day, when Juno Reactor and the Orb were making the myths, techno and trance CDs always seemed to have that one ambient track ending every album.  It was almost a statement that the work was to be ingested as an entire morsel, not a collection of loosely connected crumbs.  Adam the Tree offers this EP as a fully realized and executed work, with a flow and motion that is both satisfying and strong.  Now I want it on vinyl, then I’ll really be happy.

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