Various Artists: pegged

va-p.jpg (7k) Various Artists: pegged
(Zenapolæ - 2000)

Eight Various Artists from Zenapolæ's eclectic roster each contribute two pieces which are pegged as widely-ranging sonic experimentalism. Beat-free zones abut with wild rhythmic outbursts and the only consistency is the assurance of unpredictability as strange new avenues open to aural exploration.

An atmospheric opener, d/form's "graphite" hovers in austere synth orchestrations of somber beauty, illuminated by shifting strands of tonal lightness. Mining similarly beatless though spacier zones, CRUD is "coming out of hiding" as gleaming irradiated streams churn in suspension. maudib's "Children of the Ort Cloud" features rougher pulsations which become stippled with rapid e-percussion, and a series of more raucous contortions.

Think drum'n'bass in space... "my gluttonous lobster baby" emits phantasmal keyboard choruses which are overlain by dhudn's busy little rhythms. The wafting synth-symphonics of kalx' "atirp" are infused with funkily aggressive electrobeats, clattering with metallic overtones. The ruffling electron murk of "029" (3:06) by zenas(prime) adopts a hypnotically clunky rhythm and a coordinated pattern of static.

ecux delivers the jungle-istic blips and beats of "secon"; microscopic tribal as rendered by alien robots locks into a groove of clicks, miniature xylotones and resonance. Thudding percussion from instruction shuttle pounds upon the vague wriggling mesh of pulsating synthtronics which is "utility". After meeting each of the artists, their second helpings are dispensed in a differently jumbled order beginning with kalx's video-game quirkiness "adinu6".

ecux reappears with the Eastern-ish bop-and-buzz of "y clept" burdened with repeating spoken word phrases. dhudn's second rounder "but now it's too late" spatters and zips with intriguingly spastic arrhythmia over smooth electronic floes. Powered by distantly muted pounding, "ear drum dream" (6:11) is CRUD's softly scritchy foray into the nocturnal jungles of the sleeping mind.

The 70.5 minutes of pegged contain a head-turning 8.3 array of experimentations... from electronic ambient to IDM to exploratory soundscrapes to audio-abstractionism and virtually anything in-between.

These eight Various Artists gather under the banner of independent flagship Zenapolæ to promote their unique individual expressions.

This review posted November 29, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).