Friday, January 13, 2012

Band Review: ZORCH

Zorch moves you. This conclusion is reinforced after revisiting the band. Comprised of a vocalizing drummer named Sam and a keyboardist wielding a formidable rig named Zac, this Texas duo produces music that embraces a very interesting esthetic, wedding trippy, funk hued jams with layered vocals and experimental electronics.
     They have been coalescing since 2007, after the two members had met in college. They worked out material for a gig, layed off for a while, and then got back into it, resulting in the 2009 demo. This is available for streaming on their website.
     I was introduced to the music of this band back in August of last year, when they played at Local 121. In some ways, it wasn’t the most ideal setting for this group, due to the sometimes-muddy acoustics. Still, they were impressive, unfolding their richly textured music with authority.
     Their sound has an uplifting quality to it, while being highly original and experimental. They know how to build a groove and overlay various keyboard textures to produce a constantly evolving tapestry of sound.
     The amount of textured sound they manage to produce is massive for a two piece, not in a heavy metal kind of way, but more in an orchestral sense. The small arsenal of equipment utilized by Zac enables him to create a fairly varied amount of texture; this, coupled with the solid drumming of Sam, registers a net effect of engaging and experimental groove music. Layered on top of all of this, the often wordless vocalizing of Sam creates a pronounced otherworldly effect.
      Consider a track like Morris the Loris. On top of Sam’s solid groove, Zac constructs a richly varied sonic structure; the opening major key groove and its subsequent development, moving forward at a fairly brisk tempo, present music that is overtly positive without being contrived. The song itself is spun out of a few ideas that seem to all center around the notion of a big, fat groove. The melody that Sam hums has a very major key feel to it as well; the fact that there are almost no words influences the psychedelic quality of it.
      For a really solid example of their ability to groove with serious feel, check out ‘Gimme that Axe’. After the intro, the song settles into a bit of phrasing based around a keyboard riff that sounds like a guitar. The whole first part of the song sounds like a synthetic version of rock and roll. All of a sudden, the riff oscillates back on itself in a pool of coalescing rhythm. As this subsides, a sample begins, and this leads into the second part of the song, which features Sam’s drumming. The contrast between the sections is highly distinct, and highlights the bands ability to weld disparate elements into a unified whole.
     This band sits in the same arena that is also sometimes inhabited by bands like Health. Listen to this band if you want to have your horizons broadened. You’ll never think about music in quite the same way.

Check 'em out at:

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