ALBUM PREMIERE: ELUSIVE “BONSAI TREE”
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L.A. producer Elusive has a discography that branches, flowers and digs deep to put down roots, and that’s why his newest Bonsai Tree makes so much sense. It’s a refinement of everything this instrumental experimentalist does, delivered with the fine detail and mind-boggling complexity that comes only from with tiny tools and colossal amounts of patience. (And much like an actual bonsai tree, it suggests a whole world within its limited physical space.)
Bonsai is alive with post-Low End theory fluidity and a flexible sense of space, time and possibility: guest Ian Roller’s sax traces a twilight horizon line across “LuvBeam,” while trumpet player Gabe Steiner zig-zags a melody between the vaporized drum smashes of the underwater-sounding “Contrast.” “Rose Mary” is perforated with sci-fi synthesizer while “Soul Inspiration” and “Feel Your Groove” are like funk spinning along the edge of a black hole, both stretched toward a endless kind of slowness. The supermachined smoothness of Bonsai is absolutely deliberate, says Elusive, and it runs right up til “Dream Segments” closes the album with a moment as sharp as the demarcation between cool sky and hot asphalt: “With Bonsai Tree, I wanted to make tracks that had a light mood and an easy listen with lush sounds eliminating anything abrasive. Refined tracks that I was very patient in creating and editing. I added a lot of focus on details such as textured sounds and layers of percussion.”
Bonsai Tree is out Fri., June 14, on Dome of Doom with a show that night at GENR8R’s residency at the Del Monte in Venice. (He’ll also be at York Manor for Hiding Places with L.A. RECORD alums Kenny Segal and Lealani on June 27—info here and flyer below.)