Up A Tree
Looper, a husband-and-wife duo, is fronted by Belle and Sebastian bassist Stuart David. The songs on here seem to bring a new interpretation to the term minimalist, looping and recycling a limited number musical bits and pieces not only throughout songs, but throughout the entire album. Bookended by a set of startling children-flute-drumloop numbers named “The Treehouse” and “Back to the Treehouse,” the songs on here range from lazy afternoon strollers to “Ballad of Ray Suzuki,” a riff and sample-heavy number reminiscent of Arling and Cameron. Interspersed among these are a handful of semi-spoken word pieces, with Stuart David reciting recollections and formulations, set to fascinating backgrounds… is that a bong gurgling in “Dave the Moon Man”?
Like a labyrinth, Up A Tree is an album you can not only explore, but get lost in. I haven’t heard anything quite like it, and I’m still finding interesting nooks and crannies to explore. And there’s far more beyond the record — Stuart and Karn David form the musical part of Looper, while brother and photographer Ronnie Black provides a visual counterpart to Looper’s live shows; for more on the multi-dimensional Looper, visit http://www.treehouse/clara.net.
Sub Pop Records, 1932 First Ave., Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101; http://www.subpop.com