Pawn Begone by Zachary Zena Giberson


Zachary Zena Giberson | Pawn Begone
First Earth Records (DL)

A fellow Texan reaches out with a new recording that has begun to circulate out of Dublin (Ireland) of all places. At first I am trying to make heads or tales out of the garish collage/design and album title with curled brow. But then I take this new EP by Zachary Zena Giberson for a spin and Pawn Begone has lots of little surprises.

Once Your Simple Enemy begins a quirky atmosphere is instantly ignited. The wiggly synth structure and forlorn horns that dip into the background play to the mixed media percussion on the frontline. It’s a squirmy mix of effects. This segues into the smoky mountain refrain of windy distortions and other hiccups on Clementine in the Fog. With reversal reels, and some unique intrigue Giberson’s strange world comes alive bit by bit, and at each turn these playful studio actions start to become cosmic, rather a modern day Esquivel.

Not without its dip into industrialism as heard on I Can Feel His Pulse On My Lips, this takes its paces like a common phantom shaking the tree. Echoes and lil’ bumps along the way don’t stop this cavalcade of peculiarities, in fact only enhances the overall effect. As he strums like a drunken sailor on Mickey Mouth, the ‘thwack’ of anything metal within reach becoming percussion seems apt amid the frenetic, animated voice manipulations and assorted tape rolls.

Finally on Pawn Speaks one might think the artist has become part of the environement in which he loathes. The sound of a semi-audible tv transmission and wind-up toys overshadow the radio dial and other leftfield paraphernalia that creeps in and out of earshot, changing shape behind filters and velocity manipulation. From the first to last second Pawn Begone is shrewdly devious, one of the most active (overlapping at times) collections of mischievous acoustics I’ve experienced in a long while, it never stops moving.


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