Expressing his ingrained and heartfelt “need to make a mark” on the planet, Hawaii/Portland-based alchemic downtempo producer Bluetech (Evan Bartholemew) released his newest album, Rainforest Reverberation, on June 5th. According to Evan, he seeks to create a lasting legacy through his music that people will remember for years to come. While I would argue that most of his previous material is already on the “Legacy” level, the fact that he said this now was a clear indication that this album was going to be awesome. While some people want to leave a physical legacy on the planet, by constructing buildings for instance, Bluetech seeks to leave the planet better sounding than he found it, and use some of the resources he generates for conservation.
While Bluetech‘s music is certainly organic, his obsession with cultivating plants of the Bromeliad group is a more tangible manifestation of his green thumb. He even announced that he is going to be taking a break from touring for a while, as he feels like he has already been everywhere to share his music and that at this point it’s just unnecessary and he feels bad about all the jet fuel emissions that he contributes to when traveling by air. Evan is not even going to make a dime on this album considering that 100 percent of the proceeds from album sales will go towards working to end deforestation, species loss, and cultural upheaval in the Amazon. Find out more at: Amazonvoice.org and Criticalbeats.org.
The album begins with a wise, spiritual monologue by Eve Ladyapples that reflect’s Bluetech‘s reverence and respect for the cyclical nature of our planet. The journey continues in musical form and explodes into “667 (Kalya Scintilla Remix). ” With eastern drums, percussion and wind instruments, along with synthetic blips, bloops, and stealth wobbles, this track really sets the earthy atmosphere for the rest of the album. Close your eyes when you listen to “Emerald Epiphytes.” For me, it brought visions of a vivid geometric rainforest grid.
Katrina Blackstone‘s vocals on “Inner Space Funk” bring us in and out of a jungle fantasy that leads into grimy morphing mushroom beats that come together to form one brilliant track, whose terrestrial name is “Mycorrhiza Mambo.” The sound of dark bubbles permeates the air.. let it guide it mold your atmosphpere. “Unidentified Flying Octopus” allowed me to close my eyes and enjoy some much needed relaxation, in the form of musical therapy. I believe that soothing beats can and do have therapeutic and possibly healing qualities, but only if you are open enough to feel the flow. The second half of the album is mellow and relaxing, winding us down after some wild explorations. Eve comes back to us for some closing thoughts. Intricate and elaborate; her words should be listened to, they contain concepts of rebirth, renewal, and reuse at their core. All in all, Rainforest Reverberation is a breathtaking album from a producer than never fails to impress.