Alec Snook spent the formative years of his music career supporting the likes of Skunk Anansie and I Am Kloot with his sampling and keyboard skills; making the move to go solo as Zoon van snooK with a well-received EP in 2008. ‘(Falling From) The Nutty Tree’ is the first album and one which adds his own childlike whimsy and experimentation to form some interestingly diverse “oddtronica”.
In an early evidence of eccentricity, accordions and the shipping forecast are the most noteworthy elements of opener ‘Shall He? Shanty’. This moment couldn’t contrast must more from the track which succeeds it, ‘Cuckoo’, which adopts an epic Euro-techno approach. Eclectic for sure but there’s not much cohesion. However, towards the middle of the record, Snook’s talents begin to make sense. ‘The Cross I’d Bear’ operates in a ramshackle folk sphere, whereas ‘Half Term (8:08)’ swoops in to classy ambient territory and sub-bass frequencies and is the sonic equivalent of crushed ice.
A remix version of the album came out soon after but given Snook’s adventurous, ADHD-like approach to instrumental music (who else could make drum and bass vs bossanova sound right as he does on ‘Pearl St Mess’?), one can imagine he would be sought after as a remixer/producer himself. ‘The Nutty Tree’ works better as a showcase for his skills but it’s still an extremely enjoyable if rather confusing album.
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