Tuesday, February 26, 2008



Zombie-Zombie: "Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free"


John Carpenter: The End

For more doomy electro-disco

Serie Noire Vol. 1 (Dark Pop & New Beat) - Various Artists



Zombie-Zombie are a French electronic-rock duo.
Who have a new album coming out on March 3 called A Land for Renegades. "Driving This Road" is the lead track.

They play portentous synth-discoey or electro-rock jams with militaristic beats. The soundtracks Carpenter composed to his own low-budget 70s & 80s exploitation films seem like a big influence.

I heard 'Driving This Road' a while ago and loved for its ring-modded minimal synth riff and general minimal sinisterism. I kept waiting for the album to stray from the formula that makes 'Driving This Road' so effective and it never did, it remains very much in the pocket, very tight and concise. There's a broad parallel to be drawn with Deerhunter, actually, as they both take certain brooding, stiff joy-divisiony elements and stretch them out into spacier jam formation.

I downloaded the album from itunes with fingers crossed. The same 'please don't suck' fingers that were crossed when, after several days, I finally listened to the remainder of OK Computer after being blown away by 'Paranoid Android'.

The release of OK Computer has something structurally in common with zombies, and I'm not referring to the ones that have been created in the decade of its wake, those who stalk around in the stingy ghettos of the internet world with bleeding mouths, who eat one another's brains and have aching, starving stomachs that crave the next little Radiohead morsel (Thom singing 'Cabaret' on the toilet? Some helicopter sounds played backwards and overlaid with thin, brooding guitar?). No, both the album and zombies, specifically their movies, by which I mean movies concerning zombies. They're both events, in the philosophical sense. That's to say that in both cases, something intense happens to you that catches you off guard and compels your complete and urgent attention, and you then turn to look out the window or ring up a friend of yours, only to find that this phenomenon is going on outside as well, or over at your friend's house, and then it's going on in the whole neighborhood, then all over town, then spreading to the hills...

Full Disclosure: we here at the AC have a mild case of catastrophilia.

A Land for Renegades might be a concept album. It certainly feels like it. On the track 'What's Happening in the City', disorienting pitch-shifted voices make ominous statements about the state of things...they could very easily have been lifted from "Dawn of the Dead's" claustrophobic, panicked media transmissions: "I see all the people leaving in the city. Can you tell me what's happening in town? You will feel pain in your body...Your nose will bleed every time you think about it."

AC says:

We are psyched about these guys. We bet they totally like 80s horror movies and synth jams.

It kind of sounds like if Superstudio did set-design for a horror movie.

That would be awesome. You should look up Superstudio, you would like it.

It would be cool if ZZ came to play the United States.

But you see, while I would hesitate to call ZZ disco, I think a certain affinity for spacey-experimental disco can be found in their kraut-goth jams. (Kraut-goth, does that make it like, Nosferatu? It's not really vampire club music, though, that would be way more erotic and alluring. ZZ's music really does have that perpetual lurch of the brain-hungry undead).

I think this is a rather European phenomenon. If disco is to euro what rock is to the US, that's because they're also both the respective nomadic musical forces that can mutate and permeate all kinds of other styles and micro-styles. That's why in Europe and France in particular you have disco-metal (justice), space disco (Dirty Sound System), etc. While on the other hand if you want to communicate to american ears, particularly New York ears, you have to speak rock. Whatever you want to say, say it in a rock accent. That's why LCD Soundsystem is so effective because it's navigating between these two powerful nomad forces, disco and rock.

AC remains perplexed as to why techno (aka minimal beats) remains a distinctly european force. Why does America resist? is it some metric-system shit or what?

Seriously though, Tear Da Club Up (Dragged and Chopped). DJ Black is the Saint Paul of Houston rap, spreading the word after the death of the savior. He doesn't call it 'chopped and screwed' out of respect for the father, and as well 'dragged' is fitting because it's slower than screw. It literally sounds like you're dragging something, like a body. The beginning of the track could be a ghetto zombie soundtrack. TEAR DA CLUUBBBB UP TEAR DA CLUBBB UPPP. Northface jackets, bling and brains, smashing tables, knocking drinks over, blood on the dancefloor.
PS check out Black's myspace page, it is ill.

A LAND FOR RENEGADES is available now from itunes

No comments: