It’s not every modern band that can evoke Can, Klaus Schulze, early Pink Floyd and Brian Eno’s Music for Films so easily as Trees Speak, especially through the lens of modern electronica. This enigmatic duo, fronted by Daniel Martin Diaz and Damian Diaz, first caught my attention a couple of years ago with their eponymous first album, and I remember discussing the enigma when I received absolutely no information on the whos and the whys and the hows. There was precious little info on the internet, and I had to review that album almost blind–I found their Facebook page, and that was it. The CD just showed up in my mailbox, and I did my best. I remarked back in 2018 that “there are no credits on the back, no musician line-up, not even a list of tracks. I threw it in the CD player not knowing what to expect, and my God this stuff is fantastic.”
I forgot about Trees Speak until their new album, Ohms, showed up under the same shroud of mystery. I didn’t even remember the first album although the name of the band sounded familiar. I made those same connections, Krautrock, Eno and the rest, and almost as a lark in did a search on my blog and came up with the old review and was amazed at how similar my reactions were to Ohms. These instrumental tracks are heavy on an old-school synthesizer sound, with the rhythm section cutting through the unctuousness like vinegar in a brownie. Trees Speak is firmly rooted in psychedelic rock, but in an unusual manner that makes me hope they’ve found success and a strong following because I could listen to this music all day.
Ohms is, once again, slim on details. “Transcend the catastrophe of being and prevail as a living entity and claw your way to enlightment” it says on the liner notes. Sure, that echoes this approach in a roundabout way, but Trees Speak makes the sort of music that almost defies description. (In this way, it captures the same sense of awe that Rasmus Kjaer’s Turist provided just a few months ago.) There’s a stunning timelessness to these instrumental tracks–at times you’ll think you’ve discovered another hidden treasure from the past, like that odd and memorable 1969 album from Touch. Only the sophistication wrought by studio techniques betrays this sound as modern and informed by the latest innovations from the world of electronica.
Ohms from Trees Speak only serves to remind me how rewarding it can be to explore the world of electronica and discover that I love so much of it. As I’ve stated before, there’s so much of it and so little time. My own love for Can was resurrected when I heard “Vitamin C” in the opening credits of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice a few years ago, and Ohms triggers those same synapses. If you really want to hear something new, something that can open up new worlds for you, this is a lightning bolt of greatness.