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Zombi: Liquid Crystal

When I write about music like this, I nearly always imagine myself driving. The music has a propulsive quality that suggests the movement of a car consistently in motion. This album is no different. I can’t listen to tracks like “Black Forest” without thinking about a late-night drive with the windows down. I like the way the album art also suggests a partial feeling of movement. What you see is, not a car, but what appears to be a group of rays floating high above the clouds, their bodies tethered by a cord or a rope. Since rays obviously cannot fly, the image might feel deceptive. But look again and feel the motion they imply. Maybe they are kites, gloating high up in the sky, held up by the wind and grounded by human hands.

Listening to this album is a bit like looking at that picture. There’s a definite sense of movement and freedom, but it is one that is somehow tethered to forces we aren’t completely sure of. I’m thinking especially of the ways a track like “Turning Points” slowly and deliberately works through its various chord changes while (mostly) evoking a sense of floating and calm. But there’s also a parallel building up of suspense that never quite eases up. If anything, it lingers all the way until the tune just fades away.

If you like the tension evoked in “Turning Points,” I’d suggest listening to “Black Forest” next. That track has a bit less overall suspense, but there’s a much heavier groove going on here. I liked the way the song was heavy and catchy at the same time. I know those two things aren’t necessarily contradictory, but it still took me by surprise. This track also shows off Zombi’s increasingly strong and propulsive rhythmic qualities.

After “Black Forest,” go back to the beginning and listen to “Mangler.” For better or worse, this track reminded me of that old Stephen King movie The Mangler and the way it made a monster out of an industrial laundry machine. Fortunately, this song isn’t trying to crush all of us, but it does create a fair amount of anxiety through its slowly building crescendo. Zombi has a knack of never letting their music ebb. It just builds and builds and builds.

If you need some calm, try “Chant” or the title track “Liquid Crystal.” Neither one is completely calm, but the synths are reflective enough that you might feel your thoughts wandering a bit.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. I’ve listened to it tons of times already and it will surely be the soundtrack to my next long nighttime drive.

Track Listing:
1. Mangler
2. Chant
3. Liquid Crystal
4. Turning Points
5. Black Forest

Added: May 21st 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 530
Language: english

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