ZOID: Zoid Vs the Jazz Musicians of Ireland, Volume 1 (CD on Diatribe Recordings)
This release from 2007 features 42 minutes of ilbient jazz.
Zoid is Zoidan Jankalovich. He plays electronics (and Jews harp and recorder on one track, and guitar on a few tracks). Joining him on this record are several Irish jazz musicians: Tommy Halferty (on guitar), Justin Carroll (on Fender Rhodes), Ronan Guilfoyle (on acoustic bass), Greg Felton (on piano), Senn Carpio (on drums and Fender Rhodes), Michael Buckley (on tenor saxophone), and Mike Nielsen (on guitars).
This is a truly odd album. It fuses modern jazz music with electronic embellishment, resulting in a curious blend of both genres, yet emerging as a unique gem whose appeal goes beyond its roots and components.
For each track, Zoid sits down with a particular jazz musician and they commingle their sonic talents to produce tunes of delightful charm.
In the first piece, jazz guitar generates a stately cafe temperament that coexists with Fender Rhodes keyboards of pleasantly slippery disposition. Meanwhile, bubbling electronics provide a celestial panorama with gurgling diodes and some snappy e-perc. Ilbient glitches introduce a quirky edginess to the tune.
Next, cerebral acoustic bass chords wander through a miasma of eccentric electronics and rhythms that seem determined to sabotage the melody with unexpected breaks and divergent beats.
In track three, Zoid?s glitchy electronics establish a terse alliance with a classical piano. While synthetic beats generate idiosyncratic tempos, the piano strives to maintain a semblance of sensible cohesion. The result evokes the feeling of a recital plagued by techno invaders.
Then a real drummer provides freeform percussion that punctuates a churning pool of cantankerous electronics. There is no evident winner in this engaging conflict.
In track five, a winsome saxophone achieves a demonstrative jazz presence while the electronics force sinuous beats on the piece. Conventional guitar stylings emerge in the mix, helping the sax to maintain the melody. This union produces an enticing tune seasoned with a characteristic eccentricity.
Next, a bevy of guitars (traditional and artificial) contribute erratic strings in conjunction with Zoid?s ilbient rhythmic demeanor. As the song progresses, the guitars muster dominance and create an alluring presence with their contrasting riffs.
In track seven, the electronics flourish in association with a liquid bassline, achieving a flowing sound flavored by the almost hesitant cybernetic rhythmics. The bass generates a lavish jazzy presence that ultimately stands victorious.
For the final piece, piano and electronics clash again. The synthetic beats mirror certain piano keys, establishing a sultry integration of near-divine mien, proving the viability that machines and mankind can peacefully coexist.
These compositions are entertaining blends of traditional jazz and modern electronics (with the emphasis on ilbient techno sensibilities).
A booklet is included with cartoon art illustrating Zoid?s struggle to bring this project to actualization while dodging the interference of machine lifeforms in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
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