Zammuto — Anchor
♦♣♦ Obohacující a povznášející zážitek. Bylo by snadné říci, že Nick Zammuto stále hledá. Ono se to nevylučuje. Jako frontman věnoval projektu hodně času. “Anchor” ve skutečnosti není zakotveno v jednom pohledu. Od prog–rocku, meditativně instrumentálních/minimalisticky industriálních fází, new wave, jazz fusion, industrialu, přes art–pop, až po avantgardní elektro a bez varování zpět k celkovému chaosu, vyšetřuje můj mozek. Co je ještě gurmánský posluchač schopen snést? Ale po celou dobu je tu pocit pečlivé diagnózy. Každý tvůrčí pohyb na albu je úmyslný a nikde nevidím pro něj nepovolené území v razanci i postojích. “Anchor” je album klidu, přesně takové, kde abstraktní struktury a sklony můžou skutečně vést k nuancím krásy.
♦♣♦ In between building bass projectors, spoonboxes, and trebuchets, Nick Zammuto (formerly of The Books) found the time to record the most compelling and engaging album of his career.
Location: Vermont, Massachusetts ~ Brooklyn, Manhattan, New York City, NY
Album release: September 2, 2014
Record Label: Temporary Residence Ltd.
01 Good Graces 4:44
02 Great Equator 4:02
03 Hegemony 3:35
04 Henry Lee (Trad.) 3:41
05 Need Some Sun 4:05
06 Don’t Be A Tool 2:04
07 Electric Ant 3:32
08 IO 2:35
09 Stop Counting 3:26
10 Sinker 4:36
11 Your Time 3:30
12 Code Breaker 2:58
• ‘Home silk–screened limited edition colored vinyl LP w/DL code’.
≡α≡ Nick Zammuto — Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
≡α≡ Sean Dixon — Drums
≡α≡ Nick Oddy — Electric Guitar, Keyboards
≡α≡ Mikey Zammuto — Bass
≡α≡ Gene Back Violin
≡α≡ Jeremy DeVine Art Direction, Design
≡α≡ Sean Dixon Drums
≡α≡ Molly Frost Handwriting
≡α≡ Daniela Gesundheit Vocals
≡α≡ Dan Goldman Engineer
≡α≡ Nick Oddy Guitar
≡α≡ Mikey Zammuto Bass
≡α≡ Nick Zammuto Composer, Engineer, Mastering, Mixing
by ANDY BATTAGLIA, August 24, 201411:03 PM ET
≡α≡ In a way that proves surprisingly joyous and endearing, Nick Zammuto knows how to make his fans feel lazy, stunted, uninspired — certainly a lot less quick, by comparison, to jump on a surplus of exciting ideas and actually make them real. For the video of his new song “IO”, for example, he built a catapult in his yard at his house in Vermont. Not just a catapult, but a massive catapult that features different component parts made from wood and flings munitions as big as computers and guitars great distances.
≡α≡ Musically, Zammuto has taken a similarly crafty, hands–on, spirit–forged approach to sound since his early years as part of the beloved art–music duo The Books. But where that band favored the dictates of electronic experimentation and cerebral collage, Zammuto’s new project tacks toward a more conventional premise, with musicians moving strings and banging and pressing on things in a band–like arrangement. Still, in Zammuto’s world, convention exists mostly to be upended — or at least tweaked.
≡α≡ Anchor, the second album for Zammuto (actually a group with its namesake as leader), opens in a pensive mood; it lays a foreboding bassline and suspicious electronic rhythms beneath ethereal vocals by Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink. The song is slow and considered (“Got to get inside my good graces,” she sings), but the pace takes a more madcap turn in “Great Equator,” which spins out figures on electric guitar and weird riffs played on what sounds like a Speak & Spell. “Hegemony” evokes the cracked art–rock/R&B band Dirty Projectors with its smart harmonies and its air of complication. (See: the drummer’s insane sense of time signature and a chorus that's basically just the word “hegemony” sung over and over.)
≡α≡ Anchor flits around a great deal, sounding different with more or less every song. Elements of chilly, elegiac electronic music turn to wild–eyed prog–rock, with a yen for propulsion underlying the most assured–sounding highlights (“Need Some Sun,” “IO”). The range could be a signal of a songwriter still trying to find his way, or it could be the mark of a boundless mind — or, even more intriguing, some engagingly strange mix of both. Fortaken: http://www.npr.org/
By Kristina Finn, Posted on September 2nd, 2014 (12:00 pm)
Score: 60 / 100
≡α≡ Zammuto will take you on an interesting trip during their sophomore album, Anchor. It’s a trip that feels mostly intergalactic with occasional landings on earth. Some of the songs will make you feel bright and liberated, while others feel like being confined in a small box that you are dying to break free of.
≡α≡ Anchor starts off with “Good Graces,” which sounds like a soundtrack to a strange sci-fi movie where alien species co-exist with humans in a futuristic time — think "Star Trek" meets "Spaceballs." As the song progresses, Canadian singer of the band Snowblink, Danielle Gesundheit, sings with a light and airy voice that fittingly lifts you to feel like you’re serenely floating in space.
≡α≡ ”Great Equator” continues this idea of transcendence by beginning with the lyrics, “Oh my love, we’ve been around the sun. The moves we made were radical, and gravity is only a theory in need of revisions, and we’ll keep on rising.” However, this song is much harder, striking jarring chords and drum beats. Eventually Daniela’s vocals join in with Nick Zammuto’s. Their voices swirl together and blend beautifully as they fill the void between strums. Then, around two minutes in the song, it shifts to synthy keys that could easily fit in a "Super Mario Bros" game.
≡α≡ By the third track things have gotten even spacier. The constant repetitive sequence of the title, “Hegemony,” makes you want to scream, throw your listening device on the ground and stomp on it. Breathe and refrain from doing that. It does get better by the end of the song. The calming harmonies resurface and the lyrics are fleshed out once again.
≡α≡ The track “IO” pulls the album from outer space for a moment, and apparently in a time machine. When they land it seems to be in the '80s. The steady, up-tempo drum beat combined with the vocal distortions would send any perm haired, neon decked person to the dance floor. The song ends and you're thrown right back into space where you remain through the end of the album.
≡α≡ Their last song, “Code Breaker” gives you heart palpitations with every minute. By the end of three minutes you’re sure you’ve had a heart attack. The cryptic vibe of the song is over stimulating and sounds like someone is sitting and pressing the buttons on a phone over and over and over.
≡α≡ Zammuto’s Anchor apparently induces freak outs and near heart attacks. In the end it really sounds like one, epic acid trip. Some points are really awesome, but others bring you to a weird and uncomfortable place, where you become anxious to leave. (http://inyourspeakers.com/)
By Matthew Hickey
≡α≡ If you ever took an advanced art class, you probably had one person in your class who was lightyears ahead of everyone else in terms of both innate talent and creativity. This was the person who had the most insane/ambitious ideas for projects and somehow always — always — executed them flawlessly. I have a suspicion that Nick Zammuto, the frontman for the band Zammuto and formerly of The Books, was that insanely talented kid in any art class he ever took. After all, everything about Zammuto’s new record Anchor is a demonstration of restless creativity and talent.
≡α≡ Zammuto’s sophomore album began as an Indiegogo campaign last July. In addition to the usual rewards (i.e. limited edition copies of the record with cover art silkscreened by Zammuto) you could also get homemade “bass projectors” (sculptures that channel “sympathetic vibrations of bass frequencies through a flexible mirror which, using lasers, projects an image of the sound waves onto a wall or ceiling”) and “spoonboxes” (sculptures “based on dancing spoons controlled by puffs of air generated by miniature subwoofers behind plexiglass and zinc plates”) — all of which were designed and built by Nick Zammuto himself. Meanwhile, the record was recorded in a home studio he and his family designed and the album’s first official music video features a large trebuchet (a cross between a slingshot and a catapult) that, once again, he designed and constructed.
≡α≡ And, somehow, in between building bass projectors, spoonboxes, and trebuchets, Zammuto (along with his band) found the time to record the most compelling and engaging album of his career. Indeed, Anchor showcases Zammuto’s love for experimental production and recording techniques while simultaneously embracing more conventional songwriting.
≡α≡ For example, the album opens with the atmospheric love song “Good Graces.” It’s centered around a slinking bassline, jazzy percussion, a moody Moon Safari-like melody, and copious amounts of electronic tweaking to accompany Zammuto as he sings, “when I first saw my love / she had her shoes in her hands / bare feet on the floor / oh, yeah / I’ve got to get inside her world.”
≡α≡ Similarly, “Great Equator” — which seems to employ a rhythm crafted partially by rhythmically scratching into the dead wax of a vinyl record — could be easily mistaken for a Postal Service cut in both demeanor and sentiment (“oh my love / it’s been more than fun / we’ve been around the sun”) — with only its experimental construction suggesting otherwise.
≡α≡ Likewise, the uniquely composed “Hegemony” is particularly ambitious with it’s single-word chorus and shifting time signature (courtesy of drummer Sean Dixon), but, I’m happy to report, it’s enjoyable even without regard for it’s technical merits. Along those same lines, tracks like “Need Some Sun” and “Io” are layered and beautifully textured, but also upbeat and fun.
≡α≡ And, that is exactly why the album is a success. Despite Zammuto’s experiments and, at times, almost academic approach to recording — Anchor is not cold and distant. ≡α≡ Zammuto approach every aspect of the process with life, energy, and joy. As a result, Anchor must be a part of the conversation when we consider the year’s best releases at year’s end.
≡α≡ We’re pairing this one with Kasey’s recipe for Balsamic Eggs with Peaches and Prosciutto. The recipe, like the album, relies on the freshest ingredients and offers bold and surprising flavors. Whether you’re a foodie or a fan of good music, I’m sure you’ll equally enjoy both. Fortaken: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/
By David Fisch, August 29th, 2014
Pitchfork review: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16433-zammuto/
The Books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Books
By Fred Thomas, Score: ****
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Label: (for licensing and wholesale inquiries)
Temporary Residence LTD. : Jeremy deVine : Jeremy@temporaryresidence.com
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