Monday, 1 February 2016

Za! 'Loloismo' (ALBUM REVIEW)

"Listening to Loloismo from start to finish is a genuinely unique experience, in the true sense of the word – whatever you fill your ears with..."

As a writer traditionally very suspicious of bands with punctuation marks in their names, my taking on of a Za! record was always going to be a risk – what if my grammatical prejudices ruined the review? What if my judgment was clouded by preconceptions? But it is impossible to be prejudiced against the Spanish duo because their music fundamentally sounds nothing like anything else.

Loloismo, the band’s first official UK release, is like the sun – it is too much to look at straight on, it could easily burn you up. But treat it with respect, bask in its warmth and light, and you have something special, or at the very least different. The record is flighty and unpredictable, most often boisterous but sometimes surprisingly introverted. There is a monstrous tribal stomp across closer ‘¡Aquí huele a assufre!’, but ‘Badulake’ best encapsulates the Za! spirit, a Marmite synth melody dancing over a rhinoceros-shaped groove always teetering on the brink of carnage. And if its sonic mayhem you want, look no further than ‘La maquinaria está engrasada’, the bizarre choice of opening track which could so easily turn listeners away with its jarring resonations; at least you can confidently say it is a combination of sounds you’ve not heard thrown together before and it is oh so ambitious. 

Dialled back, the acid-gnarled rhythms on the delirious jazz-inflected ‘Empatando’ are like a soul massage and there is a genuine delicacy on the intricate guitar of ‘Sancha’. For once it’s not a trap, there is no hidden wig-out here - possibly because that’s all been saved for the immense Southern psychadelia of the frantic ‘Mundo Estrella’, or sent into space for the Martian prog mentalism of ‘Hablas como Autechre’, #s 1 and 2. Or possibly even jammed into a time machine heading back some 30 years on ‘Captain Rondo’ – it would be typical of Za! to own one. 

Listening to Loloismo from start to finish is a genuinely unique experience, in the true sense of the word – whatever you fill your ears with, it  won’t sound like this, and for that reason alone it is something special and something to seek out and explore. It’s impossible to say how many people will listen and enjoy, but indulge the inner musical nomad and see where the journey ends.

Words - Joe Ponting

Tour Dates
Thursday 11th February - Sticky Mike's, Brighton
Friday 12th February - Matinee show at Folkestone Quarterhouse
 (part of the Folkestone Fringe 'Profound Sound' festival) 

Friday 12th February -  DIY Space For London, London
Saturday 13th February - The Harp Restrung, Folkestone
Wednesday 17th February - Secret show TBA
Thursday 18th February - MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
Friday 19th February - Delius Arts and Cultural Centre., Bradford
Saturday 20th February - Picture House Social, Sheffield

All dates are w/ NOPE