Album Review: Trees Speak — PostHuman

Krautrock and its variants are not for all tastes. To some listeners, the idea of minimalism combined with an insistent beat is a recipe for migraine. But for those who appreciate the droning yet oddly exploratory vibe of the style, riches await beyond those well-worn Neu! LPs. PostHuman is the newest release from Trees Speak, and it’s a marked improvement over the already-splendid Ohms, reviewed in these pages just over a year ago.

If such things matter to you, Trees Speak is not from Stuttgart, Mainz, Berlin nor Nuremberg. No, the duo of Daniel Martin Diaz and Damian Diaz resides in Tucson, Arizona. But the aural landscape they conjure on this record will transport you to the Autobahn.

You’ll experience much more than guitar/bass/drums on your journey. Mellotrons, all manner of Sgt. Pepper-y sound effects, horns, vibraphones, wailing saxes and cellos (or samples thereof; y’never know these days) are all employed in Trees Speak’s musical mission. It’s a fascinating, wordless journey upon which the adventurous traveler should most surely go.

Those who are familiar with krautrock know that the term encompasses many different styles, form synth-based textures to avant-jazz leanings. In its own way, PostHuman is a kind of sampler for the variety that exists within the style; it’s not one but many things, and it’s all the better for it. Neither retro nor faux-futuristic, PostHuman seems to exist in its own time. It’s a rare treat, and most highly recommended to the intrepid sonic traveler.