Tim Exile (né Tim Shaw) was made for the stage, but maybe not the stage you'd expect. Most of Exile's affectations-- billowy low tenor, showy buildups, rugged everyman looks, the glitzy stage name-- all point towards showbiz. The result is that Shaw's third album, and first for Warp, Listening Tree, sometimes sounds like Electronica: The Musical with Shaw playing the sashaying lead.
I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed with the third long-player from Tim Exile. Known casually as Timothy Shaw, the man launched his career by making sick drum and bass on the legendary Moving Shadow and John B’s Beta. His style quickly evolved to include more of a hardcore IDM influence, as shown by his awe-inspiring 2005 debut album on Planet Mu.
A collage of images, including a deer, an Atlantic landscape, and a purple ear, dominates the cover of Tim Exile’s third album, Listening Tree. This oddball mélange, which appears to be floating somewhere in outer space, has sprung forth from the ground and is presumably a visual embodiment of the album’s title. It’s reminiscent of Darren Aronofsky’s embarrassing flop sci-fi feature The Fountain, and the album’s thematic content also orbits a similar universe to that film.