ZINKL: The Temptations of St. Anthony (CD on Prudence Records)
This release from 2004 features 49 minutes of electronic progrock.
Anton Zinkl-Singer's synthesizers and keyboards are joined on one track by a drum solo by Silas Toball.
A versatile array of electronic sounds are employed to create this music, and despite the religious nature of the tracks, a certain joviality dominates the tuneage. Zinkl blends serious (almost dire) tonalities with uptempo keyboards and jubilant percussives that result in a lively air for the intricate compositions. Nimble beats slither amid a bevy of hyperactive riffs that refuse to remain within conventional parameters, diverting with abruptness into pastoral realms to cavort with adolescent innocence before plunging back into a dark abyss of intense complexity. Harpsichord passages lead to bongos and synthetic feedback guitar before diving into a stretch of xylophonic calisthenics. One never knows what to expect next, except that it will be refreshing and dazzling.
This fusion of progrock and innovative electronics is astoundingly rewarding and full of pleasant surprises. Zinkl's predilection for long-form structure is wondrously displayed in the first track, as he wanders through an assortment of melodic diversions on a central theme. The other tracks reveal a compression of this maniacal genius with briefer lengths, resulting in an escalation of the frenzy and a crystallization of succinctness that captures the attention with a vise-like grip.
The notion of applying a celestial velocity to chamber music is intriguing. The rhythms are emphatic and relentless, while the overall temperament blends fervor with frivolity in a wholly entertaining manner that is as exhaustive as it is satisfying.
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