Zach Zinn | The Dream Body
This is a quizzical record that opens somewhere between traditional Asian sounds, bagpipes and flowing oceans. I Had It Trapped is a melancholic short intro piece before Zinn builds some murky static to go along with hushed flute melodies on Narcissistic Empath and Haunted Hooligan. The track purrs with a bare motor, coated in a waxy finish. The blur makes the listener work harder to make out the tonal variances and superimposed vocal treatments.
It drifts as if in a heavy high wind, and its title reveals itself after four minutes or so in. A noisy drone collapsing in on itself, it has a post-modern noise feel, something altered, on purpose, then put together with parts missing, making the listener guess what’s left of the original. In this light the work questions authenticity, the artist’s signature without the superfluous branding that too many hold with any semblance of value. Instead there are constant contradictions if you dive really deep, but these are left to individual interpretation given the overall abstract nature of these five quite unique, exploratory tracks.
The title track, for instance, offers a quasi pedal organ feel at first, but soon becomes less reliant on sounds that invoke memories to make way for its own drumbeat. In its most murky, downbeat industrialism is where this recording is most free, triggering both a lapse in analytical perspective, and something far more raw. The distorted chords shift, and an isolated melody peers through its heavy muted surface in a very incidental way, eventually becoming distended and voluminous. On Glacial Lakes there are moments of repose, needed breath from the bloated bass drones. The crackle of static and the tape-loop style nature gives this a sense of icy suspension.
On the final piece, Atsinna Light, a tinkling effect is counter-balanced by a prepared synth that sounds as though it is under a hood, covered and purring from the inside out. It’s a slower, slightly more ambient track, in soft grays. Again a hint of traditional Chinese music is almost subliminal, embedded. And in the end Zinn showcases this equivalence between beauty and other in a recording worthy of an immediate second listen.