Monday, July 17, 2023

Illusion of Safety & Z'EV-self titled; Feast of Hate and Fear/Cipher Productions/Oxidation/Korm Plastics/Drone Records/Personal Archives/Public Eyesore Records/Tribe Tapes/Liquid Death Records/No Part Of It, 2022


Excellent news here at Casita Amnesiac, in that I've managed to hook up a turntable (thanks Dad) and make room for vinyl listening. Thus, a circling back to last year's Illusion of Safety & Z'EV album, released by a veritable consortium of interests. 

Side one's track, A Strategy of Transformation, moves from a promise of the classic z'ev Wild Style percussive attack quickly into feels that are of a more Musique Concrete nature. Field recordings of people speaking are interspersed with digital Glitchcore techniques. Some of the latter sound a lot like the ones that z'ev showcased at his performance at the Lab in San Francisco, 2015; he pulled these swooping, cascading falls of sound from an electronic drum set that looked as he'd gotten it at the Goodwill for $7.99 plus tax or something. This piece wends its way regally through these varied zones. Disaster Amnesiac recommends it as a headphones listen. The discrete elements will come to the fore of the consciousness much better with this method. Alternately, one could just crank it up as far as one's speakers can handle, thereby assuring annoyance from house mates, spouses, parents, etc. Your choice, Noise Person.

On the flip side, Smaller Revolutions starts out with the quietest of drones. This sound disperses at a stately pace, with thin layers added to the initial line over the course of several minutes. Obviously it's within these tissue of sound where the listener will find intrigue, the attentive listener, anyway. Give in to the slightest distraction, you'll likely miss the thread. Disaster Amnesiac supposes that at that point Illusion of Safety & Z'EV will become simple Ambient Music, but I also suppose that that's not really what these two sound artists' intentions were. z'ev ain't around to comment, but, still. Toward the end of the piece, the layers widen with blends of ring modulator sounds, percussion and harsher electronics. This soup is worth waiting around for as its elements mix up into a goulash of yummy Industrial Music. The sounds from Illusion of Safety and z'ev make for a fine sonic payoff in the second half of Smaller Revolutions

Worth noting too is the wonderful artwork from Bradley Kokay. Disaster Amnesiac can't tell if it's the result of digital or hand done collage methods, but either way the graphics on Illusion of Safety & Z'EV are striking in their complexities. Cool stuff! 

Clearly, this LP, with its large team of production stake holders, was a deeply felt labor of love. z'ev is missed and respected by many it seems. Can we get a decent release of that Lab performance?

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