by / April 7th, 2009 /

Tim Exile – Listening Tree

 3/5 Rating

(Warp Records)

We give you Listening Tree in which Warp’s latest exponent of space age electronica Tim Exile comes over like an otherwordly Gary Numan. Exile is your stereotypical Warp musician, in that: he makes his own instruments, dons weird and wonderful onstage gear (including a joystick taped to his crotch and a viking helmet?!) and sings eccentric lyrics (-Bring on the archeologists/ to unearth your heritage’). Not that these are necessarily bad things you see, but Warp sometimes have a penchant for putting expirmentalism and technology over the actual music itself. And so onto just that, the music- this a record which will melt your mind, just a little bit. Exile’s producing style is a mixture of high intensity avant electronics that taps, ever so slightly, upon the current trend for 80’s sounding synth action. It’s difficult to review this record in the conventional sense but highlights include the fizzing -Family Galaxy’ with its dreamlike fragmented lyrics putting paid to any form of traditional tempo with a million different beats and rhythms working against each other to make one glorious mess. Songs like -Fortress’ actually sound like something from outer space before exploding into exotic kaleidoscopic melodies.

Exile also does minimalism, as showcased on -There’s Nothing Left Of Me And Her But This’ and -Bad Dust’, all Four Tet bleeps and squeals coupled with the rough edges of Autechre. Exile delves into label mates Aphex Twin territory with the frenzied trashing electronica of -When Every Days A Number’. In conclusion, an album of epically eclectic proportions. The future is here, I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it yet.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • Jay Vaughan

    this is easily one of the most interesting albums to come along in a long time .. if you chuck this album out after a single listen, then you deserve the onslaught of super-produced “pop” music currently raping our ears and lowering standards on the airwaves. but if you give it a chance, you will find, like the picture on the cover, there is far more to experience behind each line and curve.

    “the listening tree” is probably going to be one of those albums that i’m still listening to, in wonder, after 10 years .. tim exile has clearly *listened*, and is now taking the graces of composers like eddie jobson, warped and bent them and given intelligent listeners a reason to buy albums again. this is a brave and bold effort, and you can find me sitting under the listening tree, anyway .. personally, i think its brilliant and worth the effort.