Artist: Tree No Leaves

by Elijah Vazquez 

Around 2007, Dustin Galish began exploring rhythm & sound by looping his guitar into two-second sonic pastiches with an array of effects pedals. His most prevalent influences of that period were Brian Eno, Can, Soft Machine and contemporaries Radiohead and Mr. Gnome. With Sarah Smith, he formed the group Tree No Leaves and his understanding of sound continued to evolve with each performance. The creative union birthed 12 self-released albums and played host to a bevy of rhythm sections before parting ways after the creative zenith of Ghost Alien God. Since that time, Dustin has continued to perform under the TNL moniker, mining for new creative terrain by revisiting his roots as a loop scientist. He has since released several collaborative and solo efforts and is finding new comfort in his unexpected roll as musical leader.

The latest release, FOXRUN, features newcomer Jared Schneider (Dream Ghost, C-Level) and bravely explores an improvisational terrain that is hauntingly beautiful in its throbbing hypnosis. Recorded live to cassette on New Years Eve 2012, the warm hiss and dub echo of guitar, vocals and omni-chord shimmer through the wake of an unrelenting cadential murmur of drums. This album is an exploration into the aesthetics of sound construction where even samples of Anthony Keidas’s lyrics (on “X”) exhibit the nomadic sonic philosophy of two unique improvisers. There are no limitations and there are no knowable bounds. There are simply mere considerations in communicating with others and a tacit knowledge that the tape will not stop running, until it runs out.

Listeners of Blues Control, Oneida, Boards of Canada, Keiran Hebden & Steve Reid will find this release in tune with the aesthetics of loop driven improvisation. This record deserves undivided attention and blends well with coffee and smoke over long winter drives. As a one who eschews superstition, I must concede that if this recording is any sort of indicator, 2013 will be a year of prosper for this new creative amalgam of Tree No Leaves.

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