Z'EV - Eleven Mirrors To The Light - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Z'EV - Eleven Mirrors To The Light

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2015-12-28

As we enter the new year, I seem to have set myself the task of reviewing some rather difficult music for January. Cast aside the indie-pop, I said, let's delve into sounds that will never see the light of radio play. And so I begin with Stefan Weisser, aka Z'EV, a man who has been creating music for almost half a century, a true veteran musician who makes what many would probably not consider music at all.

Eleven Mirrors to the Light isn't really an album that can be discussed in the normal way, as it's incredibly abstract and pretty challenging, though it mostly doesn't step over the border to obnoxious. It's more an experience, full of impressions and undefinable emotions. Lead track "Aina", for example, is shimmering and effervescent, while also managing to create a sensation like bugs crawling under your scalp.

This set is full of long spans of sounds oscillating, iterating, and meandering their way through slow progressions and changes, with instrumentation provided by all manner of objects including both familiar instruments and things like sheet metal and power tools, such as on the buzzing 'Eadrom' and 'Speil', both of which must have been spawned in a work shed.

Every track is seven minutes long, making the whole mess clock in at a whopping 77 minutes, essentially the limit for a single audio CD. And the set often sounds like a horror movie in slow motion, or what being insane might feel like, like the grating 'Marama', filled with weird ringing alarms, and the icy slime of closer 'Salamin'.

Which isn't to say it's necessarily bad. Some tracks do stand out, such as the excellent "Mirall", which gives an awesome sense of void, of being either millions of miles out, or trapped deep in a bottomless pit. It's helped by sticking with the bass end of the scale, as opposed to the more piercing tones other pieces exhibit. "Golau", a bit wobblier but also bass heavy initially, descends into a microwaved dungeon of the damned before lazily spinning itself out across a deep space tractor beam.

The album definitely takes patience, as nothing zips along or blows the doors off their hinges. Things arrive in their own time, linger, and then dissipate, such as with the more tentative 'Kathreftis', like a swam of robot flies flitting about your head. Some tracks do blend together a bit, like 'Feny' and 'Spetlo', which sound like a pair of broken fluorescents dangling from the ceiling.

If you're not sure if you like drone, this probably isn't the place to start, as it delves into a semi-industrial, almost noise state in plenty of spots. But for genre connoisseurs and the patient, there's much to like here, and tons of depth to sink into. This is the advanced course at drone college.

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