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Reviews
Zonk't - Itching
Friday, March 12 2004 @ 12:36 AM PST
Contributed by: Malahki Thorn

Itching

Artist: Zonk't France

Title: Itching

Label: Brume Records France

Genre: Electronic Industrial Dub

Zonk’t is the latest release by multimedia artist Laurent Perrier of France. Zonk’t is Laurent’s second album under this moniker. The album is being released through the French industrial / electronica label Brume Records.

Zonk’t is a very interesting release floating about in the vast ocean of modern electronica music today. The albums title “Itching” is hauntingly reminiscent of the character of the music. Working within a fusion of stylistic approaches and techniques the music of Zonk’t is not easily explained. Blending strong elements of minimalist electronica, industrial, drum & bass, jungle, ambient and trance into one strong sound. One man many approaches. Zonk’t seamlessly harnesses these various influences and directs them into a union of surprisingly original and engaging music.

The first thing to say about Zonk’t is they are exclusively electronic music. There is no singing and very few if any acoustic instruments. Many of us coming from club scenes and raves are thumped out on electronic music that moves the body but does little for the brain. If you have abandoned electronic music because of its monotony then this might be your chance to get your groove back.

The music on ‘Itching’ follows a relatively simple equation and delivers stunning results. The majority of the songs begin with slow minimalist bass lines at their core. The bass is hypnotic as it slowly builds up straining to exert itself. Laurent Perrier keeps a strong hold on the bass creating tension and a feeling of restraint through his control. Surrounding these subsonic echoes booming out of nothingness are swooping synthesizers and a variety of percussive and rhythmic elements. The architecture of the songs builds slowly and with intent. What starts out minimalist mutates into a complex dance of electronics. The rhythmic elements breathe life into the music and offer a counterpoint to the strictly constrained bass at the core of each song. Micro beats and drum & bass interludes break across the backdrop of the music in spastic swirls. These elements weave together to create a dense yet comprehendible whole.

Though the music is synthetic, it emerges at times into an organic/synthetic hybrid. Some mutant form of Cyborg music that is clinical and computerized while emitting an emotional aura. The music is embedded with a degree of intelligence. The song structures are intricately constructed and though it is minimal at times, your brain will be racing to interoperate what you are hearing. After a few songs, you fall into the tide of the music. It becomes easier to follow and you become more enveloped in it. I found it to be much more of a mind trip for me as opposed to a dance classic. However, the album did have me dancing at times.

I would suggest this release for Radical Faeries with an existing interest in electronica music. Especially those of you out there that are looking for something original and intelligent that deviates from the same old tired electronica. Futurists and people with an established interest in innovative experimental electronic music should try this album out as well. Faeries that like break beat, industrial, jungle and drum & bass should check this out as well. Faeries wanting an introduction to experimental/industrial music will also find Zonk’t approachable and engaging. As the various subgenera of electronica music become less original and more occupied bands like Zonk’t and labels like Brume Records continue to sustain us with new and original electronic music.

     


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