Zombi drummer A. E. Paterra spins out gleaming, endless
highways of synth rock on this solo debut, giving the nod to Neu! in his
motorik lyricism and Tangerine Dream in the chilled, futuristic washes of sound.
The disc’s first half consists of three original compositions, tense, staccato
“Dresden Codex,” ominous “Teleforce” and sprawling, cinematic “Timespan,”
which, at just over 18 minutes, conjures a nearly limitless sense of space and
Then, for the disc’s second half, Paterra hands the three
cuts over to fellow travelers for remixing. Steve Moore, his partner in Zombi,
finds a paranoiac threat in “Timespan,” deepening its echoes so that the whole
piece seems to unfold in a cavernous, subterranean space. Justin Broadrick of
Jesu makes the most dramatic changes to his cut, knocking “Teleforce” into
woozy hyperreality with dopplering waves of synth. It sounds like Paterra’s
track with a mild concussion, wandering sideways into unfamiliar corners and
framing its elements with halos and rainbow-colored auras. Black Strobe, a
French electronic producer, elicits a languid sensuality from Paterra’s prickly
“Dresden Codex,” bringing its brief, repeated melodies to the foreground and
subduing its rhythms to a body-conscious pulse.
All six tracks – the originals and the remixes – require
patient, receptive listening. Not much happen during these extended meditations.
The point, as in many Kraut-inspired compositions, is to be mesmerized by
repetition. Yet the very same-ness of these pieces can, under the right
circumstances, reset your monitor so that even subtle gradations turn dramatic.
A high blare of synthesizers about three and a half minutes into “Teleforce”
has its impact magnified by the preceding sections insistent repetition, for
instance. A basso surge two-thirds away through the “Dresden Codex” hits like
an adrenaline shock, mostly because the part before was so restrained and
There’s a sense of both forward motion and eternity in these
tracks, a sense that movement and stillness are not so much opposites as two
sides of one perception. You have to be in the right mental space to appreciate
Timespan, but it’s an interesting
place once you arrive.
DOWNLOAD: “Timespan” “Teleforce (Justin Broadrick Remix)” JENNIFER KELLY