Thierry Zaboitzeff — Multiple Distortions
(Booster BTZ122 LC09621, 2016, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-05-30
Subtitled “Archives 2005-2016,” one might get the idea from that subtitle that this is a bunch of leftovers from the last ten years or so, but that’s certainly not the case — nothing could be further from the truth. This collection is superb from the beginning to end, the fruit from the top of the tree so to speak. Many of the 15 pieces here have a definite cinematic quality, much like fragmentary elements of suspense soundtracks that bubble up from dark corners of the psyche. Zaboitzeff is a master of the groove as well as generating melodic intensity, often in dark and mysterious ways, captivating the imagination. Elements of electronic, groove, quasi-orchestral, rock, and avant-garde all collide herein to create a varied sound that completely defies classification, yet holds the listener’s interest throughout. Zaboitzeff plays every instrument on the album, which includes electric bass, electric cello, all manner of guitars, keyboards and synthesizers, acoustic and electronic percussion, samples and programming. One has to wonder from where the composer draws these ideas that seem to grow out of dark fractures of emotion, with powerful driving forces from depths far below the surface. Sharp jagged rock structures first appear with multiple screaming overdriven guitar leads on “Overdrive 4,” one of several related pieces that are scattered throughout the track list in random order. “Confusion” grows out of a backdrop of chattering electronica with some wild and unusual effects that alternately yield to a darker vision, yet maintain a strong melodic current throughout. More dark cavernous explorations ensue with “Sign 2,” a short vignette that seems to follow an improvisational thread. “Vorschrift” follows it, with a catchy repeating melodic riff gently giving way to some whispered effected voices over an electronic foundation. That’s just four, but there are plenty more surprises here that will engage the intrepid listener.
Related artist(s): Thierry Zaboitzeff
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