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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Zombi website  Zombi - Surface To Air [Relapse - 2006]

On the preceding tour-only EP Digitalis the duo from Pittsburgh included a song called Sapphire which seemed a tribute to Jan Hammer's work for the infamous Miami Vice series. The other unreleased tune was Siberia, which resembled the Ennio Morricone soundtrack to The Thing, which on its turn seemed a tribute to director John Carpenter's own soundtrackwork. Yet, neither of these directions are taken on the second full-length Surface To Air.

Like the titletrack already lead to suspect Zombi is becoming less of a tribute-affair and slowly finding their own sound. A sound which is rich with references and familiars, you'd hear chunks of the entire canon of electronic 'kosmische' music, prog- and krautrock as well as the rich tradition Italian horror scores. The mix of all of that together comes off as quite unique, so that the duo remains safe and sound, away from the term 'ripoff' lurking in its dark corner..

One of the strong points about Surface To Air is mix of real drums and bassguitar to balance out with the fat, but rigid, sequences coming from the anologue synths. Not only for the 'human factor' but also strictly rhythmically speaking. The straight forward 4/4 sequences often will be overlayed by an uneven meter create a groove by having the accents shift. More than once Steve Moore's bassguitar is a key element, particularly in the closing epic Night Rhythms, but also in Legacy his bass lifts the music from being great to being brilliant. The rhythm section he forms with AE Paterro makes sure you'll never get he feeling of sterility. Although the tracks vary in length from 5 minutes to the nearly 20 minute mark, a great harmonic sense tops it off to make a very enjoyable 45 minutes.

Although being a duo, helped by electronics the two manage to sound very powerful, yet rich with atmosphere. Where Cosmos obviously was aiming for an outer space, on Surface To Air it's less clear where we are taken, but it's definitely more a telluric affair. More down to earth, but without losing the airy atmosphere. Great music to soar away through your own mindscapes. There's a lot to think of: as the sounds are pointing towards the imaginary soundtracks to genres as diverse as zombie-films, action-flicks as well sci-fi-joints.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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