Snook has a bottomless treasure chest of beats, samples and melodies, but rather than just throw them all up in the air and see where they land, he selects them with aplomb and crafts a fast-moving, cohesive forty-five minute album.
Zoon van Snook is the guy you want to do your remix. He possesses that rare combination of unfettered, child-like imagination and full command of his motor and editorial skills. After several years of singles, remixes and collaborations, (Falling from) The Nutty Tree is the Bristol native’s debut long player.
Snook has a bottomless treasure chest of beats, samples and melodies, but rather than just throw them all up in the air and see where they land, he selects them with aplomb and crafts a fast-moving, cohesive forty-five minute album. Whatever he tosses skyward—it could be as unlikely as a typewriter, a glockenspiel or a choir of altos—takes flight without so much as a ruffled feather.
The opening track, “Shall He? Shanty,” has the plucky peasant rhythm of a harvest dance. The following track “Cuckoo” beams the same dancers into the sci-fi disco of the future—intriguingly, the tracks share the same beat. He even reprises the melody later as an earnest, solo piano piece. “Lemograph” is a kind of globalized funk soulfully integrating the continents under the sway of one smooth, bendy bass. Both “Half Term (8:08)” and “Pearl St. Mess” are sun-kissed as they swoop and soar between the flack of ack-ack beats. And I love that the album ends with a corny brass band playing him off with that old showman’s refrain, “good evening, friends!”
As an encore, a remix album will be released any minute now. Mush also released the brilliant Say Goodbye to Useless by Snook’s nearest American equivalent, the adventurous, entertaining Deru. The two of them might just be the smartest guys in beat music.