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Zip Tang - Luminiferous Ether CD (album) cover

LUMINIFEROUS ETHER

Zip Tang

 

Eclectic Prog

3.70 | 14 ratings

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chopper
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Zip Tang are a recent addition to this site and came to my attention via the Bands Submissions email. They caught my attention mainly due to their cover version of "Tarkus" and I thought at the time "they're either very brave or stupid" but as the band admitted to me they are brave and stupid, however more of that later.

Zip Tang are a four piece and almost fit into the jazz fusion genre, mainly thanks to the fine sax playing of Marcus Padgett. In fact, the whole band are talented musicians, the guitar work of Perry Merritt also stands out. But what of the music, I hear you ask?

The opener "Tower of Tuna" is a humorous Zappa/Echolyn, jazz fusion sort of thing and is a good way to kick off. "Missed the Beginning" features Chili Peppers-style guitar , "Nothing Here" starts off with a lovely acoustic guitar intro, then mutates into something which reminds me of The Tangent. "With a Twist" is another funky number, this time reminiscent of It Bites. "Beta" is an excellent fusion style instrumental with some nice synth work.

This brings us to the aforementioned "Tarkus" cover. They have gone for the full works (when I was expecting an extract) and they certainly are brave, attempting a full-blown prog "epic", especially when they're not really a keyboard band. I can't really think of another prog band covering a prog epic like this, except Transatlantic and "In Held T'was In I", but they have managed to pull it off. They've been quite clever in slowing down the intro and playing the riff on the sax. This gives the whole thing more of a jazz feel. The fast section later on is also slowed down, and most of the keyboard solos are taken on either guitar or sax. Yes, they were potentially stupid in taking this on, but I reckon they've done a great job here. Some ELP fans may turn their noses up, but it's worth a listen

Overall a very promising start. As I've said, I detect influences from Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Tangent, It Bites and Frank Zappa, all thrown in with a bit of jazz fusion but they're all excellent musicians and the whole thing makes for an excellent debut CD.The only criticism I can make is that the vocals lack of bit of that elusive "something".

And in case you were wondering, in the late 19th century, luminiferous aether (or ether), meaning light-bearing aether, was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light.

chopper | 4/5 |

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