Review: Easychord – Not In My Family Tree

Not In My Family Tree derives some of its most prominent features from what could be termed as the “common traits” of electronic ambient music. I refer to those rippling synthesizer pools, in which origination and placement become lost within their own reverberant afterglows – sound as a billowing gas or as a liquid current, channelling chord cycles that lack the rhythmic definition to be termed as melodies. In terms of timbre, there’s little within Easychord’s palette that works to tease it away from what ambient music is already very familiar with. Glitch disruptions, thick distortion bastes, pockets of meandering piano, cycling dynamic patterns…it’s all here, and there’s often a sense that Not In My Family Tree is all too engrossed in the influences from which is originates.

But there’s something about the album that veers its trajectory away from the current of ambient genericism. The production in which it is housed feels organic, and there are points at which the record’s clicks and pops feel like genuine recording imperfections rather than deliberate techniques. Textures clip at the edges of maximum volume, and any re-imagining of the record as mysterious expanses of landscape is shattered by the reminders of the creation process and studio limitations. It’s actually the album’s most endearing quality, and prevents it from becoming just another sterile sheet of ambient wallpaper. Not In My Family Tree prides itself on its coming into being, and rather than mask the stitches and rough edges of its hand-crafted composition, Easychord uses them to lure the listener inside.