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Deforestation

by Mute Forest

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $6 USD  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    • 180 Gram vinyl in a matte gatefold tip-on case w/resealable sleeve
    • Lacquer cut by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering
    • Mastered for vinyl and digital by Taylor Deupree
    • Pressed to custom formulated Audiophile vinyl by Gotta Groove
    • Bandcamp DL code on card: choice of formats: FLAC, 320K MP3
    • Physical copies only receive a FREE download of the REFORESTATION EP, including remixes from Kiln, Western Skies Motel, Mombi, Spheruleus, Porya Hatami, plus two bonus songs from Mute Forest.
    • Vinyl ships in a polylined inner sleeve with cardboard stiffeners and special corner protected shipping boxes to help prevent any shipping damage to this special edition. (See Photos)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Deforestation via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 300 

      $18 USD or more 

     

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about

"BEST ALBUMS OF 2015" - NOWAMUZYKA

"BEST ALBUMS OF 2015" - SON OF MARKETING

"It’s the way folk music should sound in 2015, post Hood, mid Benoit Pioulard. It’s a seamless fusion of the electronic and acoustic, with both elements fully realised yet enmeshed – tied together by the poignant melancholic vocals." - CYCLIC DEFROST

"BEST OF FOLK/POP 2015 - Deforestation will puts its hooks into you slowly and sink them in deeper with each listen. There is such an abundance of layered sound design and solid song craft here that something new seems to be revealed with every spin..." - STATIONARY TRAVELS

"Smith's whisper feels like it's drifting phantom-like through the trees, with a cricket's near-subliminal chirp appearing alongside a hypnotic, dubby beat pulsation and electric guitar shadings" - TEXTURA

"A pale, fading light sinks its sharp fangs into the forest. Mute Forest’s Deforestation abides inside. In small but noticeable degrees the light changes. It’s the unstoppable intrusion of an approaching dusk." - FLUID RADIO

"If we were subject to a certain restraint to keep only the important works, those that affect us and carry a message, then the albums signed by Kael Smith and his various identities (Khale, Mombi, Mute Forest) would be among them." - SUN BURNS OUT

"There is beauty in depression, there is beauty in decay … and that is the kind of beauty that Mute Forest perfectly captures in these songs of loss." - AMBIENT BLOG

In a seemingly ceaseless acreage near his childhood home in the Rockies of Colorado, Kael Smith (Mombi, Khale) takes a deep breath and listens critically to the forest. It is not the same sound he remembers as a youth, when he’d disappear for hours deep into these woods. No, the sound he hears today is unfamiliar and vapid. Muted, really.

Since Smith’s departure to the city of Denver; the Mountain Pine Beetle has moved into these woodlands and decimated the trees; devouring their insides and leaving empty husks in its wake. It is among these thinned out swaths a word keeps repeating back to him, over and over, incessantly… 'Deforestation.'

Over the last decade, Smith has approached songwriting with a similar respect he had for the wilderness as a young boy. Whether it was the cyclical dark melodies of his band Mombi’s 2011 LP 'The Wounded Beat' or the careful layering of his debut EP Infinity Pools, released this year under the Mute Forest moniker, Smith has taken extreme care to the subtleties of his recordings. Along with several respected outlets, Stereogum in particular deemed 'Infinity Pools EP' as having “the effect of watching a gray, drizzly dawn over a dystopian future-metropolis.” While Fractured Air minced no words saying, “It conjures up the timeless sounds of Helios, Benoît Pioulard and a host of other electro-acoustic milestones”. And while it’s easy (and probably flattering) to be compared to other stalwarts operating within similar genres, with Deforestation Smith takes a confident step towards his own signature sound; out of the driving rain and into the filtered light through stricken trees.

Painstakingly written, recorded and mixed at his home studio in Denver, 'Deforestation' sprawls across nine sonorous and meticulously wrought tracks containing elements of minimal electronic, ambient and folk. Large cavernous beats, micro ambient deconstruction and nylon guitar all swirl into a coherent palate left for Smith’s poignant, intimate words. Zoom in further and one quickly hears Smith’s nuance at work. The frail techno skeleton of the track “Automatism” contains electrical pops and crackles captured from a spontaneous lightening storm through an amp. Following in order, the hall-of-mirrors piece “Back of Cave” conjures up the endless reflections of a racquetball court with it’s multi-taped percussion and Smith’s chilling vocal refrain, “Don’t be a labyrinth anymore.”

Mastered specifically for vinyl by Taylor Deupree (12k), and with the additional step taken to create lacquers and metal stampers by SAE Mastering, 'Deforestation' sees a gatefold 180-gram release from Lost Tribe Sound that, like the material, takes no shortcuts. Both the album’s acetate and test pressing were scrutinized for anomalies on world-class vinyl setups at Arizona’s esteemed high-end audio dealer and vacuum tube specialists, Arizona Hi-Fi. Concluding the deluxe package and connecting intimately with the material within are stark, disintegrating images courtesy of renowned minimalist photographer Christy Romanick (Rivulets, Chihei Hatakeyam).

credits

released November 13, 2015

Written and recorded by Kael Smith
Piano on Tracks 3, 4, and 9 performed by Matt Herron
Mixed by Kael Smith and Matt Herron in Denver, CO
Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12K Mastering
Cut to vinyl by Roger Seibel at SAE in Phoenix, AZ
Lyrics by Kael Smith
Photography by Christy Romanick
Layout by Kelly O'Brien and Ryan Keane
Copyright Lost Tribe Sound, LLC
Published by Settled Scores (ASCAP)

kaelsmithmusic.com
losttribesound.com
kellyeileendesigns.com
12kmastering.com

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The sound of beetle-decimated woodlands.

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Track Name: Deforestation
I LIE BY YOUR GRAVE / AND WATCH THE CLOUDS MAKE YOUR FACE / STRETCH AND EVAPORATE / NOTHING'S A SIGN / NO ONE’S A WRAITH / BUT IF I AM RIGHT THEN HOPE IS JUST A CAGE / FAITH CAN DIE LIKE TREES / IF YOU DON’T PREPARE IT FOR THE DEEP FREEZE / AND FOR AT LEAST ONE FLIGHT FEEL THE ENGINES DIE / I LIE BY YOUR GRAVE / AND PUT MY EAR TO THE GROUND / AND EAVESDROP ON THE WORLD BELOW / NOTHING'S A SIGN / BUT WAS THAT A CREAK / VEX THE TREES AND THE MOANS THAT THEY RELEASE / FAITH CAN DIE LIKE TREES / IF YOU DON’T PREPARE IT FOR THE DEEP FREEZE / AND FOR AT LEAST ONE FLIGHT FEEL THE ENGINES DIE / AND WHEN THE SPIN ENDS / YOU WILL BE BEHOLDEN TO THE DEAD QUIET / IT’S THEN YOU WILL DETECT THAT CONTROL IS JUST A FIGMENT / I LIE BY YOUR GRAVE / AND WATCH THE CLOUDS MAKE YOUR FACE / GRIN AND PULL AWAY
Track Name: Automatism
I STARE UPWARDS AT A VERTICAL CLIFF / AND YOU WATCH MY FACE / LOOKING FOR A TRACE OF DREAD / LIKE THE WORLD WATCHES / WHILE THE VERDICT IS READ/ I’VE WATCHED YOU FADE / DISINTEGRATE / ON THE ROPES / I THINK YOU HAVE IT ON CALL / YOUR ENCORE
Track Name: Back of Cave
IF YOU’RE TETHERED TO THE WRECKAGE YOU WONT FEEL / WHAT’S IT’S LIKE / JUST DIVE / CUT THE LINE / BUT IT’S HARD TO WATCH IT ALL FROM THE BALCONY / AND WHO’S PLAYING ME / THEY’RE HERE / FOR YOUR SEAT / EYES LOSE COLOR WATCHING HYPNOTIC FLAMES DANCE / MAGNIFIED SHADOWS STRETCH INTO THE CAVERNOUS / PART OF YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REACHING OUT / AND NOT FOR ME / WON’T MEAN WE’RE NOT UNIQUE / EYES LOSE COLOR WATCHING HYPNOTIC FLAMES DANCE / MAGNIFIED SHADOWS STRETCH INTO THE CAVERNOUS / AND I WILL GAZE INTO THE FIRE / UNTIL THE FLAMES BECOME A CORRIDOR / THEY WON’T BE WANDERING ANYMORE / I CAN’T FIND THE BACK OF CAVE / DON’T BE A LABYRINTH ANYMORE / DON’T BE A LABYRINTH ANYMORE
Track Name: Impersonating a Firefighter
WE WOULD SWIM IN CIRCLES / UNTIL IT BECAME DARK / I HAD COMMAND IN YOUR PRESENCE / CASTING LONG GREAT SHADOWS / COVERING YOU / DIP YOU IN THE WATER UNTIL YOU VANISH / IF I SEND FOR THE SPECTER OF THE OLD DAYS / IS THAT ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU CAPTIVE / YOU DISTRACT ME / OR DO I TELL MYSELF YOU DISTRACT ME AS AN EXCUSE / FOR A MOMENT / I DRIFT / WHAT WAS IT YOU SAID LIES BEYOND THESE TREES / THE CINDERS OF YOUR OLD LIFE / AND I COUNTER WITH A MELODY I SING FOR YOU / IF I SEND FOR THE SPECTER OF THE OLD DAYS / IS THAT ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU CAPTIVE / WITH THE MOUNTAINS BEING PITCHED INTO THE DARKNESS / YOUR FEATURES FADE INTO THE GLOAMING
Track Name: Various Lake Contents
HEARD A CALL / ENDLESSLY / DRIED OFF ALL THE LAKE FROM ME / YOU SHOULD JOIN ME SOON BEFORE WE GET TOO OLD / BUT YOU’VE BECOME BORED / I CAN HEAR IT IN THE TONE OF YOUR SIGHS / LIKE A GUNSHOT FROM THE NEXT MOUNTAIN OVER / YOUR LOVE IS LEAVING ME / IT BURNED OFF WITH THE MORNING FOG / I THOUGHT AT THIS DISTANCE WE WOULD GRAVITATE / BUT YOU’VE BECOME BORED / I CAN HEAR IT IN THE TONE OF YOUR SIGHS / LIKE A GUNSHOT FROM THE NEXT MOUNTAIN OVER / I GUESS WE’RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE X4
Track Name: From God, To Kane, To Seth
DEEP BUCKETS FROM THE MEMORY WELL / YOU SHOWED YOUR VERVE FOR THE PAST / AND I’M NOT SURE / IF OUR TEEN YEARS HAPPENED LIKE THAT / BUT IF IT MOVES YOU THEN I’LL PLAY ALONG / DEEP BUCKETS FROM THE MEMORY WELL / LIFE OUTSIDE IS STANDING STILL / AND I’M NOT SURE IF THE FUTURE WILL HAPPEN YOUR WAY / THE EARTH WILL DIVE INTO ALIGNMENT / AND HAVE TO WAIT / DEEP BUCKETS FROM THE MEMORY WELL