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MP3 Mitch Dorge - As Trees Walking

Ambient and experimental Electronic album with a liquid fluidity. Brian Eno meets Thelonious Monk

6 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Ambient, ELECTRONIC: Soundscapes

As Trees Walking
Kari D., Chart Magazine

Mitch Dorge would like you to meet his other musical personalities. Those that are tortured in serenity, fighting to be heard amidst the mumblings of modern mainstream creators.

Best known for his work as the drummer with Winnipeg''s internationally renowned Crash Test Dummies, Dorge uses As Trees Walking as his marauding expedition - and formal introduction - into the world of solo recording. Heard here is everything that his Canadian pop equivalent is not; broad soundscapes give way to gently repetitive piano and distorted lullabies. Ambient is how critics will want to categorize this; inventive is what they will overlook.

The echoing sounds of rushing water and primates lends sense to the reasoning that As Trees Walking has already been picked up for use with meditation groups. Dorge has an intense ability to create a simplistic world of noise that surrounds and captivates the listener, delivering to them a unique sense of musical peace.

As Trees Walking comes fully from the somewhat twisted mind of Dorge; all engineering and production was performed in his home studio and all instruments are played by the man himself, aside from the few friends he invited in to help him complete the final bits. Lori Stefaniuk and Renee Delaurier lended their voices, while Gilles Fournier plays bass on the last track, "I''ll Always Love You".

The ideas that spawned these songs come characteristically inspirational for Dorge; every one of them is a little left of centre. From "A Darker Side of Life", which Dorge wrote about people who take pleasure in cutting themselves, to "Ketamine", about a drug once used as an anesthetic, then banned in the 1960''s once its post-surgical hallucinogenic qualities were discovered. "Cry" was written at 2:30am during a temporary insomnia fit, and the aforementioned "I''ll Always Love You" was crafted as a part of an independent movie soundtrack.

The title track was one Dorge laboured over for some time. Deciding he needed a creative focus, he attempted to get into a headspace similar to that of an onset of Alzheimer''s. The result is a sporadic, repetitive, jaunting piece that enthralls the listener and welcomes them to a new kind of musical realm.

As Trees Walking is a absolute extension of a creative force. Explaining one man''s psyche in a matter of 46 minutes is a feat Dorge was willing to undertake, and, much like the artist himself, is already proving his exegesis to be both multi-platformed and simplistically ingenious.

As Trees Walking
Darryl Sterdan/Winnipeg Sun

Mitch dorge is, of course, best known as the drummer for Crash Test Dummies. But anyone who expects his new full-length As Trees Walking to be a set of Dummies style pop - or a batch of percussion solos - is bound to be dissapointed. Or, more likely, pleasantly surprised. As Trees Walking sees Dorge wading into deeper musical waters on a six-song set dominated by piano-based instruments that straddle the border between New Age, neo-classical and ambient electronica. The nine-minute title cut is a graceful yet sinister electro-waltz; Cry is a tome poem that swells from lonely minimalism to sorrowfull stings; the aquatic and claustrophobic Ketamine could be the soundtrack to a Das Boot sequel; and the brooding epic I''ll Always Love You boasts a ghostley female vocal and a groaning cello that sit halfway between Bjork and David Lynch. From start to finish, As Trees Walking is an album that gives a whole new meaning to the term classic rock.

As Trees Walking
James Turner/Uptown Magazine

As the drummer who has backed the Crash Test Dummies for the past 11 years, Mitch Dorge has certainly had a chance to see a lot of the world at large. it takes mo more than a minute of listening to his new record to realise how much of what he''s seem has been translated into what the disc offers. This is a cool record - almost as if Brian Eno and Thelonious Monk were put in a room together to make an album. There''s a tom on ambience and orchestration backed by sting sections and synthesisers. Oddly (interestingly?) enough, there''s virtually no drumming. Which is, considering the material at hand, a demonstration of taste and serves the record well. Best of all, it must be said, Brad Roberts'' "tradmark" baritone is nowhere to be found.

As Trees Walking
by T. Bruce Wittet

Maybe I''m a little off the beaten track - as surely Mitch Dorge, Crash Test Dummies drummer - but I played this album several times over a month''s span. I''d look outside at some dark cloud or white dove or UPS truck and they would all slip meaningfully into the back-drop provided by Dorge''s work. As Trees Walking is not a drummer''s album, unless by "drummer" we mean one whose ambit extends to spacious somposition, bizarre lyrics and electronics. Rather, owing to it''s ostinatios and lush sonic textures, this album might get pegged as New Age. But there is more humour, and more darkness than is typical of that genre. At one point, a telephone rings, "I''ve cut myself again," announces the caller. The exchange that follows is priceless, as is the rattling of the kalimba.

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