Alex Atchley comes at us with a new release via Naxat. The EP is tree tunnel and is four free to download tracks of amazing music. I know I say this with a lot of albums, but this one truly deserves a listen for the incredible musicianship and ideas at work over these four songs. While you are hopefully hitting the link to download the album, let's get an in depth look at this album here.
The EP kicks off with the synth rocking letsdothis. The synths add a space frontier feel to the song but the strong drums keep the rock feel cemented through out the track. Slowing down near the middle, the piece changes course a bit before dying out in a fit of feedback. The song has an adventurous explorer type feel, as if traversing the world, or even new, unconquered worlds, all with the excitement and learning of the newness of it all. The title says it best of this brave young interstellar adventurer, "Let's do this."
This kicks right into the atmospheric good weather, an amazing song that would fit into any amazing SNES RPG, save for the really kicking drums. And this is not to mention the incredible vocals of one Jane Vincent from Baltimore based band abiku. The song kicks off with drums, which leads into adventurous synths, as if you were traversing a great range of mountains, along with the emotional vocals that create quite a harrowing experience. This reaches a glitchy experience toward the center which makes great use of the vocals and music together. The song leads out with the repetition of "good weather, and a glitched out breaking down of the music. At first you would think the vocals might not meld well with the high powerful vocals, but do so very well, and makes this song tie with the final track for favorite song on this EP.
From the looming mountains of good weather we are lead to the deep underground of tunnel song, the third and lengthiest track on the album. The intro starts out on the slow side, with long sweeping notes, but once more riffs come in you start to get a great build up, and once the drums burst in you are once again rocking out. With drum fills and leading guitar like chiptunes the song reaches an anthemic tone. Once we hit the middle of the track though, we change gears with some hard thumps which lead into a rather ominous fill as if we are going deeper and deeper into this tunnel the title speaks of. This once again breaks down into some crazy drums and strong tones. By the last minute we are being lead back out of this dark tunnel of sounds at full speed. The dramatic swell at the end interrupted by the chipped out outro leads one to believe that we successfully explored and escaped this forbidden tunnel.
The closing track, gallerix, starts out with a catchy chip pattern, which leads to the very foreboding body of the song, which is reminiscent of games like Metroid. The somber track is the type that one would imagine when remembering the apocalyptic end of a world. Dry, desolate, and devoid of any signs of life. The tones are grave yet nostalgic, like longing for something long gone. The song slowly shifts and turns throughout, but never lifts it's veil of otherwordly distress, even as we reach the end of the song, hoping for that upbeat conclusion, it never comes. The song leaves you quietly pondering the harsh reality of the world in this final piece of tree tunnel.
One must simply experience this album for themselves to hear and imagine the highs and the lows that can be gleaned from this stellar release. Once again, you can download it at Naxat's official site for free. I truly hope this ep is merely a taste of the amazing and varied sounds to come. I will end this piece with Naxat's own liner notes for this ep.
the tree tunnel e.p. is 13 minutes of pure melody that is influenced by a variety of musical genres such as: chiptune, synth-pop, shoegaze, and anthemic progressive rock.
all music composed by alex atchley using a variety of softwares such as little sound dj, modplug tracker and fruity loops. it includes a passionate and terrifying vocal performance by jane vincent of baltimore’s abiku, on a re-imagining of their tune “good weather”.
this e.p. is being released as a free online download as two of these songs have been in circulation in the chiptune community for some time, and as a way to relaunch the naxat project once again after a year of silence. video representations are forthcoming.