Friday, 13 April 2012

Album review: ZAMMUTO - Zammuto

Highlights: Groan Man, Don’t Cry, F U C-3PO

Zammuto is the work of a guy named Nick Willscher Zammuto (also of The Books), and an album I had a rather odd urge to check out. Something of a challenge, this being glitchy electronic pop that tends to leave me cold for various reasons (lack of any emotional connection being one of them). In a way Zammuto is as accessible as the genre allows, and further listens reveal melodic substance and layers, literally layers of all kinds of cute intricacies for which you turn to this kind of music in the first place.

On the first listen – an interesting collage-like concoction of protean musical idea, diverse and bizarre instrumentation and occasionally no less bizarre lyrics (the title “Zebra Butt” must speak volumes). However, you do feel sufficiently intrigued to keep investigating. The second time this is still kind of messy and confusing, but on the third listen it starts to make perfect sense. Well, not really perfect, but keep in mind that these things demand patience.   

You could probably write a book about everything that is going on here. Even though the record gets somewhat slower, mellower towards the end, it never for a second loses its inventive edge. Which obviously makes it a difficult, demanding listen. After all, there is only so much weirdness you can take in one go. So whereas I’m duly impressed by the folksy, violin-heavy “Idiom Wind” and particularly the lush acoustic guitar and psychedelic tunefulness of “F U C-3PO”, the plodding, auto-tuned “Harlequin” might sound like too much.

Still, there’s no question that Zammuto is one totally rewarding experience. Addictive and frustrating, too.


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