Thread 3

By Elizabeth Wells

Tread are Take Kitahara and Hiroshi Watanabe (who records as Kaito for Kompakt) and take a self-styled ‘minimalist’ approach to their house music. They call it ‘micro-house’, but it’s not really. Although this is house music more suited to evenings watching the sun set on some tropical beach rather than ‘largeing’ it in some club, it has all the hallmarks of artists at home with conventional house arrangements. The idiosyncrasy lies in the fact that the music never steps over the 115 bpm mark and mostly stays around 85-100 bpm.

With Tread 3 we have the ‘summer’ album: there are 3 others in the project, all representing one of the seasons. And it does sound summery, with its world music influences: steel drums, Spanish and Latin moods. Stylistically it is incredibly reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss’s Faraway Trains, in the way it sets out to build an atmosphere, layer upon layer. But like this forebear, this meticulous layering can sometimes sound plodding and predictable. But I’m not going to complain: this is deeply satisfying on some levels: melodic, compelling tech-house grooves (as on U & Shadow and Diamond Brightness) are just what the house doctor ordered after a night on the town.
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