Will Z - New Start

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2015-06-08

Belgian cosmic head-tripper Will Z may be familiar to you via his work with Canadian cult acid-folkies Can Am Des Puig in the recording of 'Parts III and IV: Afternoon & Evening', the sequel to their classic acid-folk masterpiece The Book of AM. His own work has more of a dark, occulty vibe (think Current 93), although this album, which features one of Daevid Allen’s final recordings (guitar on ‘Evil Namo’) does capture some of the religious, devotional feel of The Book of AM. Much of this was inspired by Z’s interest in Jainism, which is expressed across the epic, five-part ‘Jain Devotion’, whose 25 minutes bookend the album.

Sitars, flutes, synth, percussives, and lutes intermingle to create a reflective, navel-gazing mood not unlike the spiritual journeys of Popul Vuh or Japanese new age maestro, Kitaro. Repetitive, hypnotic melodies warm the spine, allowing your third eye to lift you into self-reflective moods.

Z has a smooth, relaxing voice (similar to Stone Breath’s Timothy Renner) which perfectly suits his musical moods, whether it be the lengthy devotional or the jazzier, piano piece, ‘Namo’. However, don’t confuse it with the rather pretentious ‘Evil Namo’, which is mostly sound effects, horror house noises and evil grunting. It might have worked on the soundtrack to The Blair Witch Project, but sadly, not here. However, I did enjoy the eerie, wordless female vocals on the short ‘Greek Loop’.

Some of this may grate on the nerves if you’re not in the proper frame of mind (‘Nefle’, for example, consists of nothing more than a heavily-treated guitar solo that verges on Framptonesque wankery), but the devotionals will sooth the muscles and relieve the day’s tensions as they accommodate your own personal introspections.

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