Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zs - Arms / Extra Life - Secular Works

What follows is an awkward essay comparing modern composition to techno:

Few modern groups can be compared to Zs. Even those comparisons would have descriptions like "as experimental as" or "striving for", because nothing really sounds like Zs. Zs don't even sound like Zs, from piece to piece (because that's what they are). What connects these 7 tracks is a constant drive to stretch, subvert, or destroy any and all characteristics of rock music from the inside. Side-stepping prog-rock's charred corpse, they work on the model of modern and contemporary composed music to create a sound spartan in structure, relentless, equally abrasive and hypnotic, and astoundingly complex. Working with what is essentially a chamber group, the members use rhythm more than color in novel ways to ensure that the compositions never lose their edge.
So doesn't that sound like techno? No really, just go with it for a sec. Anyone that follows this blog knows my fascination with minimal techno, and mainly because of its, well, sparse atmosphere and repetitive, complex rhythms. So what if Zs don't have a four on the floor? What if there's no synths? What if this whole review doesn't make sense? Check it out.

And how about applying that modern view on monophonic chant?
Yeah, why not.

This is Charlie Looker, ex-Zs but guitarist on Arms, with slightly less challenging music. And by that, I don't mean not challenging.

Secular Works:

1 comment:

Aristocratic Bastaard said...

Started following your blog man! Great stuff, this will be a good point of reference when I want to get new stuff. I discovered Charlie's stuff thanks to WFMU, which I highly recommend to anyone if they're the open minded type. I listen to them online though. Anyways, discovered Zs thanks to a friend, later on stumbled upon Charlie's "Extra Life" project & I had no idea he was an ex-member of Dirty Projectors. Gotta love the guy!