Music Reviews

Artist: Ame Zek (@)
Title: Rostfrei
Format: 12"
Label: Keep it Business
Rated: *****
Before we even get to put the album on the turntable, you'll notice that the back of the album cover points inside, stating 'sick mirrors see.' There are words printed on the inside of the sleeve, such as 'mercy,' self-confidence,' and 'purity' printed backward and upside down. I'm not really sure what they are supposed to mean, but they seem positive for the most part. As for the music, the label describes his work thus: 'One of the biggest challenges of electronic music is to give a unique voice to the machinery that is used to create it. One must dive deep down into the hidden possibilities of hardware and software, learn to understand their functions, and discover the peculiarities of each tool and how each device interconnects with others. Ame Zek has gone down this route, developing his own deeply-personal musical language through years of experimentation.' Putting it on the turntable is a challenge, as the only clue as to which side is which is in the etching on the vinyl, which also informs the listener that it should be played at 45RPM. Had I not seen this, I would have thought it was a mistake, since the first track was filled with static and was nice and glitchy. Indeed, this is the hallmark of Ame Zek's work, as everything is covered in a thin layer of hum and buzz. But this is not really noise; rather, it uses the digital static as just another layer of sound. The synths themselves seem to have been circuit bent beyond recognition. Digital tones and buzzing are deliberately added, so as to appreciate each one in its isolation. At times (e.g., track 4), Zek seems intent on irritating the listener, but not in a heavy handed way. Rather, it is in the choice of tones and the heavy dissonance. Still, this is interesting work and well put together. This album weighs in at around 26 minutes. It's pressed on 180 gram vinyl and limited to 300 copies.

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