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Posts Tagged ‘Zero 7’

How many times have we heard someone say, “it could make a grown man cry” and then went home disappointed, with only the sweltering sun to be blamed for the water trickling down our cheeks. It is quite amazing the amount of crap that leads to the beloved act of passing of the tissues. Yeah yeah I know, to each his own and all that; still I will continue to judge people who cried during Stepmom or Million Dollar Baby. Or drunk guys who scout for fellow simians to ‘jusssst hug it out’ whenever the aging DJ spins the super-annoying quasi-acoustic intro to Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters at the pub. Some even get all mushy and text poetry to their never-to-be fiancés. Fred Durst’s crayon could easily sue them for copyright infringement.

Why the rant?

zero7-bandIn the spirit of promoting all that is dandy and nice, I would much rather have people cry to the beautiful sounds of Zero 7.

Zero 7 is an UK-based downtempo/jazz pop act comprising Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker – former sound engineers for the likes of Pet Shop Boys and Robert Plant. They have been crafting pristine electronic music that harkens back to the trip-hop boom of the early Nineties while giving erstwhile nods to French pop of the 1960s. They first came into prominence with their remix of Radiohead’s Climbing Up the Walls, which appeared as a Karma Police B-side. The common consensus (for once, it is right) opines that Zero 7’s debut Simple Things is their best effort till date. It really is one of the most delicate albums I have ever heard (and I own three Tori Amos acoustic compilations); jazzy, intricate and smoky.

sophie bakerFeaturing guest appearances by pop princesses Sia Furler and Sophie Barker, this album should have rightfully started a riot. A mellow one in which, the underprivileged and the wronged get together to roast marshmallows over a warm fire and write songs about the funny noises the flame makes.

In The Waiting Line” is my favourite song on Simple Things. It is a perfect soundtrack for putting things into perspective at the end of a particularly bad day. As the song drifts on, backed by an achingly lovely harmony section and Sophie Barker barring her soul into words like “do you believe in what you see, motionless wheel, nothing is real, wasting my time, in the waiting line,” you feel vulnerable…scarily close to shedding an uncomfortable tear and then BOOM you start to wonder,

“How in the hell can a song that has Lars Ulrich in it make anyone cry?”

But that’s just me. You might continue drifting along with the song.

Download

Zero 7 – In The Waiting Line

Watch

Zero 7 Destiny

Zero 7 – Somersault (Danger Doom remix)

The Sonics – Have Love, Will Travel (since I stole the words)

Buy

Stuff for your grandma

Zero 7’s Simple Things

Eagerly Anticipate

Yeah Ghost

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It has turned out to be quite a fad to trash the current sound. During the Sixties, music fans found love, lust and LSD inside electric organs. They drank whiskey and left their women back home when the Seventies dawned upon them. The Eighties witnessed these poor souls paying more attention to clothing and accessories than on a steady drumbeat. Kurt Cobain ripped their hearts out with a shotgun blast, just as the Nineties were proving to be quite eclectic. Now as this generation hits midlife crisis, the music fans have decided to stake a claim in history by portraying themselves as whiny bitches.

They moan and groan about how pop music has degraded from Paul Simon goodness to Shakira’s bile-inducing shenanigans. The long-haired folk have decided that all attempts made by Metallica to recapture former thundering glory shall therefore be treacherous. Hip-hop apparently sucks nowadays, as does Rock n Roll.

I don’t fully understand all this negativity floating around. If you look inside bull’s arse, the odds of seeing anything else other than bullshit are pretty slim. If music enthusiasts keep switching channels on TV, or buy music from their local store, the chances of them hearing the sound of garbage writhing with itself are pretty fucking high.

And stop telling me there you are unsure what to download, and that there is nothing out there to capture your fancy. Ever tried Mulatu Astatke or The Greenhornes? You can’t find good music by typing the same damn keywords on Google and then being disappointed that 50 Cents, Akon and Snoop Dogg are the only downloadable options in the rap category. 50 Cents isn’t worth 2 cents and everyone knows it. Stop bitching about this and start looking for alternative options. Blackalicious are rhythmical gold. Prefuse 73 and Count Bass D throw out some great hip-hop tunes every now and then.

Also rock is not dead. It has gone into hiding, that’s all. Look deep enough and you will discover Decemberists, Tiger Tiger, Raconteurs and guys who call themselves Queens Of The Stone Age. Don’t look down upon what music has evolved into without paying at least a moment’s attention to bands like The Outlines, Zero 7, Belleruche or Brant Bjork.

This decade’s sound does not suck. It’s just no longer to be found where it once was.

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