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Zombi - Surface To Air CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.84 | 45 ratings

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4 stars This is the kind of progressive electronic music a rocker can get behind-- engagingly powerful, fast- paced, and a little angry. Best of all, it's rock. A.E. Paterra is one of the best unknown drummers around and shows a marked Neil Peart influence, emulating Mr. Peart beautifully. His musical partner Steve Moore handles bass and a wave of lucious-sounding synths. The music takes from Prog as much as it does from Film and Electronic and the balance is quite successful, reminding often not only of Rush but of artists such as filmmaker/composer John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, U.K. and even Keith Emerson at his synth-ier moments.

'Challenger Deep' is a good opener but the pace solidifies on the second, 'Digitalis', a Carpenter-esque thematic that suggests any number of alien invasions, body replications and robotic takeovers. Simple rhythms with ever-modulating melodies and counterpoint support this track as it leads us to 'Legacy', a very kinetic, very well-played and very Prog number. Rush's influence is deeply felt here and this cut could have been something from the 'Moving Pictures' sessions, though these two players don't need anyone else to express themselves, not even a guitarist. The title track 'Surface To Air' grabs us by the throat and doesn't let go for almost eight minutes of candy symphonics, awesome angularity and vibrating walls of Korg sounds. Very nice indeed, and none of it artificial sounding or over-produced, always maintaining an edge and organic feel. The epic 'Night Rhythms' - clocking in at over 18 minutes and filled with mellotron sounds and soaring washes of keys - closes things out with more great playing and Saturday matinee charm. Dark at times but with sci-fi excitement and a craving for a future long overdue, Zombi really fit the electronic prog bill, proving you can do synth-driven soundscapes and still rock.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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