Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Age of Disinformation Age of Disinformation CD-R / D and N D and N 2 CD-R (both Mayyrh) / Zanzibar Snails Vitiligo (Tape Drift) CD-R - There's still lots of activity happening in and around the Zanzibar Snails camp these days.  There's live gigs, and more gigs from side trio, The Watchers (debut release imminent?).  The 'Snails even received a perfect 10/10 grade from Foxy Digitalis for their Journey Into Amazing Caves! CD/DVD combo last year.  

The Age of Disinformation offers something of a detour from the usual ZS trajectories.  AoD is actually a local "supergroop" that features members of the 'Snails, The Great Tyrant, Akkolyte, Yells at Eels and others across 47 minutes of creepy-crawling drone, improv and ambient noise, which as orchestrated by multi-instrumentalist, Aaron Gonzalez, leaves plenty of space for embellishments and exploration.  These mutating oscillations, surges and crackling tones make me think of the frothing pools of analog electronics glimpsed on those early Cluster and Tangerine Dream records, along with hints of harsher noise, radio sounds and early industrial grime worked into the mix.  The results are a dark, enveloping mind swirl that ebbs and flows with primordial currents every step of the way.  Perfect for rewiring the synapses for a more celestial perception of the absolute.  Welcome to the new dark age, my friends.

D and N 2 is the second installment from the duo of Nevada Hill (of the Zanzi's and Drug Mountain) and David Price (also of the Zanzi's) operating via postal collaboration before, captured live in a weekend in an old church in East Texas this time.  And there's a twist:  The master recording of that session was chopped in two at the halfway point and then each half laid on top of one another, so what we have here is essentially a free noise collapsed folk industrial mashup.  It's a mouthful, but at 30 minutes the oblique trajectories of 2 manage to mostly fascinate, offering a fractured web of odd found sounds, broken guitars, harmonicas and the like which together sound more raw and abrasive than the excellent debut 3" CD-R and lands them in the same jagged terrain found on Richard Youngs and Simon Wickham-Smith's mythical Lake (which basically sounds like Jandek gone prog). 

Vitiligo is the name of the condition that causes people to lose pigment and turn white.  Michael Jackson claimed to have it, but we may know better.  As much as anything else, Zanzibar Snails are about reducing elements to their fundamentals.  Boundaries, barriers, matter itself is obliterated within their dark currents.  These five tracks offer the expected scrape and scrawl dementia designed to fuck with minds and obliterate egos, and they're pretty spooky at times.  In fact, the end results are some of the most cathartic raw noise excursions I've heard from the 'Snails to date, with Nevada Hill's electric violin screaming through dense electronics and stumbling percussion like a noise punk Tony Conrad.  Sarah Alexander's acid-opera vocals and effects really start to work their magic by the second and third tracks, as the ensemble alternates between cryptic Dadaist noise intervals and full on brain bleeding sonic mayhem.  It's awesome to finally get to hear Alexander on a 'Snails release as she brings an entirely new dimensions to the proceedings.  The closer is all about the subdued come down and a worthy conclusion to what amounts to a truly harrowing journey.  Vitiligo works remarkably well and simultaneously honors the uncompromising quality of past Zanzibar Snails recordings.  Awesome packaging once again from Hill.  Thumbs way up, peoples.


Anonymous said...


sultan m said...

I may be biased but that's some mighty prose, yo

Tanks for listening!

Don't miss the Watchers' May 30 show @ Phoenix Project with KOBOKU SENJU (Japan/Norway) featuring Tetuzi Akiyama-acoustic guitar, Martin Tacks-tuba, Oyvind Lonnig-trumpet, Espen Reinersen-tenor saxophone/flute, Toshimaru Nakamura-no input mixing board.

Lee said...

You're welcome, Mike. Thanks for the awesome music. Very excited about that Koboku Senju concert! Tetuzi Akiyama is one of my favorite pure blood blues jazz guitarists, and to see him in a bigger ensemble like this in Dallas is something I'd not have thought possible a few years ago.