Futurebum | Zomia
Review by: Anastasiia Romanova
Impressions of Zomia are difficult to put words in, so I have to use a number of abstract concepts. It is a multifaceted meditation, an absolute departure into another reality. A wide musical – sound material created by the artist is developing dynamically, but at a uniform pace. Diverse scenes alternate monotonously as if someone whispering a spell introducing into a trance. Trance-mental state from the latin ‘Transe’ which means cross the boundaries of something.
Here in Zomia we cross the border of habitual reality and wander into the new mystical reality created by the artist. The author invites us to travel around the world of Zomia. It is noteworthy that the traveler can choose his own path. the artist only creates a voluminous universe from a sound canvas, in which everyone chooses his own unique path.
“Before it started, we closed all the lamps, lit the incense burner and went into a 3-minute silence in the dark. We left our hearts and brains empty. Slowly, we entered into the ambience. For a whole hour, I was struck by this indescribable music. Yes, it was striking! It was strong and persistent, and It didn’t intend to please you.” – Yang Juxiang
My path in Zomia was comparable to flying into space, passing through all layers of the earth’s atmosphere towards gravity. passing without any costimulation and without a spaceship, no protection, just flying. Therefore this journey is so painful and beautiful at the same time.
So, the levels of Zombies resemble layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, each has its own story, its own sketch. The only difference is that Zomia has more layers than the real atmosphere and since we are traveling quite openly without equipment, we clearly feel how one level replaces another. This is the effect of a recreated, new reality. I vividly feel my presence inside it. Constantly in motion. Even there, wherever I wanted to linger and stop a moment, the author does not allow us to do this. These are Zomia hinting at real life with the elusiveness of time.
“I lay down with my eyes closed for the duration, feet pointed toward the one loudest speaker. I suppose about a quarter of the time I was actively listening, while the rest of the time I was chasing the thoughts, connections and connotations that the music evoked in me, thinking about what other music or art it reminded me of and having imaginary conversations with imaginary partners about what we were listening to. I also kept wondering about and wishing that I could see the thoughts of the people around me. I don’t know why, I guess something in the mesh of sound made me want to feel a human connection. Or maybe I felt somehow insecure lying on the wooden floor, head resting on my sneakers, trying not to open my eyes when I felt footsteps pass by me. Regardless, it was a unique experience, which is exactly what I came expecting. The music itself kept me engaged; the words I would use to describe it are organic, distorted, unpredictable, and loud, specifically the type of mildly uncomfortable loudness that comes from sharp resonance (whether it was part of the music itself or a feature of the room we were in, I’m not really sure).”
So flight! The troposphere, the ozone layer, the stratosphere, the mesosphere … from one to another, higher and higher. And so, we leave the atmosphere bursting into airless space! Here it is the purpose of our journey! This moment is easily tracked in the album. Sounds become brighter and louder and it is unclear whether it is beautiful or unbearable. Here it is already unclear whether it is loud or quiet, familiar concepts are blurred here, losing their meaning. Here, in weightlessness, everyone chooses his own star or planet and flies to it. The listener’s freedom within the boundaries of music!
In the end, each on his planet, we find what we did not expect to see. New life! Another reality! An unprecedented being appears before us. Who is it? A crippled child, a sick greybeard, an ugly and at the same time alluring creature?! We experience euphoria – here it is the result! that’s what all this is for! A new, hitherto, unknown and mystical is revealed to us! Perfectly! And behold, we awaken from a deep sleep. Having lived in it a small but full life within our ordinary one.
Isn’t it amazing?
Zomia creates the effect of what we hunt so often, gives us what we always want to experience – finds another reality, invades another universe, we see the unprecedented, feel something that no one else has felt before us! And in doing so, live a fuller life inside the real one.