Nov 29 2016
Zetzum Zorglub is more of a concept than a band. The sextet is a hazy mix of post-rock, Nordic Jazz and minimalism, but there’s really no one point in time when it’s simple to nail down a particular influence exerting itself upon a song. And for that matter, these are not really songs that populate their sophomore release Gentle Beast… more like perspectives. But even that might be too definitive for this band. The imagery they roll out is ephemeral, rarely ever assuming a discernible shape, and sometimes coming across as innocent as random musings, and sometimes as immediate as vivid dreams.
The commingling of mumbled dissonance and strung out melodies is a common thing. “Ilstedet” can’t really seem to make up its mind about anything, and that’s pretty much the reason the tune comes off as so damn charming. There’s an off-the-cuff quality to the music not unlike shooting the breeze with longtime friends.
The slow build from vague formlessness to stunning melodicism is not an uncommon occurrence, either. “Stille Nu” hints at structure before turning its back on the idea of it altogether. Until, that is, it all comes together like glorious sunset streaks of light across the sky. And then there’s “Tremmer,” which crashes down like lightning from above.
Both “Rar Kulør” and “Vejr” seem to get their feet tangled during the harmony, and each step forward is one of confusion… until, of course, it all comes together as a graceful dance or a head full of steam, leaving only the question of which form of expression represents the band’s true intent or if there’s even a case that intentions have nothing to do with it in the first place.
Nothing ever stays the same on a Zetzum Zorglub recording, and this is true even more so on their sophomore release. Their self-titled debut remains a curiosity on its own merits, and that they follow it up with something that doesn’t really sound like the debut but feels exactly like its spirit, that’s saying something.
Your album personnel: Kaare Bjerke (bass, percussion), Andreas Moller Bøttiger (tenor sax, piano), Sven Dam Meinild (alto sax, clarinet), Mikkel Aagaard Nielsen (trombone), Kristoffer Tophøj (drums), Buster Jensen (guitar) and guests: Gilad Hekselman (guitar) and Lars Greve (sax).
Released on PG Sounds.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Soundcloud page.
Music from the Odense, Denmark scene.