Saturday, November 4, 2017

z'ev/Alexandra von Bolz'n/Fragment King-The Garden; digital release via Bandcamp, 2017

You just have to hand it to to z'ev: fifty plus years into his creative journey, and the man is still working. He seems to come back from any and all adversity. Most recently, Disaster Amnesiac has read that he was injured in some type of literal train wreck, only to rehab and recover, this time duly heading for South America. z'ev is not thin skinned, that's for sure.
Neither is his voluminous documented work, which, with his Bandcamp page, is growing all the time. While not located at that same cyber node, his music with Alexandra von Bolz'n and Fragment King is equally tough, and highly worthy of checking out.
Disaster Amnesiac has been digging The Garden, nineteen minutes of percussive trance bliss from 2011, especially of late. z'ev starts things off with a fine example of his ostinato drumming approach on what sounds like a single bass drum. It stays for the duration of The Garden, conjuring up hallucinatory images of snakes and surreal landscapes for this listener. Disaster Amnesiac is reminded too of a RE/Search interview in which the master percussionist/sound manipulator spoke of dispensing with flashy drum licks in order to get to some kind of deeper essences. This is most definitely the case herein. z'ev doesn't "do" a lot with his lines on The Garden, and in doing so does everything, moving the track to fully trance inducing places.
Atop the magic rhythmic carpet laid down by z'ev, one hears whirling, high pitched electronics from Fragment King that drill down into ears. Not so much melodic as atmospheric, they spin and cloud around the sound spaces, digging down and flying out and around the drumming. Alongside these moves, vocalist Alexandra von Bolz'n intones some kind of bizarre script. Disaster Amnesiac can't really tell what language she's singing in, but her dramatic vocal rises and falls sure sound dramatic and often somewhat disturbed. Perhaps they're some kind of vocalized asemic writing?
The sum total of The Garden strikes Disaster Amnesiac as some kind of sublime Industrial Black Metal, as its darkened vibes sink in to the auditory perception in a way that is heavy, mysterious, and singularly out there. This music is not traditionally pleasant, but it's surely compelling and fascinating to this listener.
It's my hope that z'ev, von Bolz'n and Fragment King have more of these sonic darts to throw at us.

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