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Favorite ThisOf the Trees: Threshold EP Review

Published: January 10, 2013
By: Hans Holborn

As we enter the beginning of a new year, Portland, Maine is on the threshold of discovering talent in its own backyard. Tyler Coombs, also known as DJ/Producer Of the Trees, recently released his debut, Threshold.  This four-track EP combines the popular genres of trap and dubstep with deep bass leads that command attention. The EP focuses on a universal feel of warm and smoothly constructed wobbled saw loops that do not convolute the music’s direction.  Listeners can easily groove and identify each tonal layer as it is introduced and immediately enjoy some of the harmonious abstract qualities including stuttered vocals and unceremonious drops.

“Threshold” welcomes you in with harmonious bells as you slowly recognize the resonant bass lead pulling into an alternative direction. The drop succeeds in immersing you in a deep lead. The wobbled-saw is tastefully executed as to complement the high frequency pinged loop as opposed to overpowering it.

“First Flight” is as it sounds. Ambient waves serve as the introduction while 32-beat high frequency pinged tones provide the foundation for a 16-beat trap style drum loop which is then grafted onto the melody line. This vibe illustrates a sense of flight as the rapid high frequency tones provide a sensation of aerial movement. That coupled with the warm bass lead encourages a melodious meeting of movement and misdirection.

“Tion Cluster” includes more ambient tonal qualities to fill the introduction, as stuttered vocals serve as an added characteristic to the upbeat pace of the track. As the drop hits you are struck with a blast of high frequency arpeggios and smooth bass leads. The bass then drives the track to and from high frequency loops that make the listener feel an aerospace quality. And the feeling of flight is back. However, the following drop fills your ears with a symphony of warm familiar tones that take you on a ride.

“Radiogenic,” with its stuttered vocals and fast-paced arpeggios, guides the listener to the initial drop.  This drop is unceremonious to most dubstep drops due to the focus on the leads and not how much content one can throw at a listener. “Radiogenic” is also a little more dance-centric than other tracks with respect to stuttered vocals and a trap beat, which are able to help guide any moves you wish to grace the world with. Its lively bass and trebled accents bring listeners to a welcomed state of movement as it calls for a little more than a simple head swing.

Of the Trees has done well with his first stab at a recognized EP.  He is able to express his music without losing the listener’s interest or ability to follow.  Some may feel they are left wanting more out of the compositions on Threshold. For example: additional layering or the reintroduction of loops heard at the beginning of the track.  However, Of the Trees transitions his bass patterns with precision and provides a way to enjoy and understand his style of music.