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Zombi Escape Velocity album cover
3.42 | 23 ratings | 5 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Escape Velocity (7:11)
2. Slow Oscillations (2:52)
3. Shrunken Heads (8:22)
4. DE3 (9:02)
5. Time Of Troubles (5:39)

Total Time 33:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Moore / synths (ARP Solus, DSI Prophet, Elka Rhapsody, Korg Polysix, Moog Little Phatty, SCI Pro One, Crumar Orchestrator), drum programming, mixing
- Anthony "A.E." Paterra / drums, synths (DSI Monoevolver, Korg 700, Moog Source)

Releases information

Artwork: Jeremy Schmidt

CD Relapse Records ‎- RR 7148 (2011, US)

LP Relapse Records ‎- RR 7148 (2011, US)

FLAC download -

Thanks to colorofmoney91 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ZOMBI Escape Velocity ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ZOMBI Escape Velocity reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Escape Velocity' - Zombi (6/10)

Essentially a two man collaboration, Zombi is an underground musical outfit geared towards making minimalist, atmospheric 'space' music. Much in the vein of psychedelic rockers like Ozric Tentacles or electronic composers like Klaus Schulze, Zombi's music is deeply rooted in ambiance, creating a soundscape and drawn out compositions for the listener to get lost in. 2011's 'Escape Velocity' is no exception to this style that Zombi has adopted for themselves, and for all intents and purposes, it is a successful chapter in the band's story. Soaked with layers of spacey effects and electronic trance sounds, Zombi may not have created something here that will shake the psychedelic or electronic scenes much, but for what it is, 'Escape Velocity' is an enjoyable and well-composed venture.

Each of the songs here revolves around one, maybe two ideas, and these ideas are drawn out over the course of a composition, very subtly taking on new additions in layering to the sound. Although this can possibly build on monotony for some listeners, the way that Zombi very carefully develops their compositions is very effective, giving a jolt of excitement every time a new spacey effect, or keyboard idea is introduced. The sound on 'Escape Velocity' is generally unchanging throughout, making use of vintage electronic sounds that are justified in their comparison to such legends as Klaus Schulze or Hawkwind. Although Moore and Paterra never tend to use particularly original textures for their music, the way they arrange them is very pleasant to hear, especially when making use of good speakers.

While most of the sound here is synthesized through computers and keyboards, there is also live drum work, and this is where 'Escape Velocity' could have used the most work. While the electronic minimalism that defines Zombi's work does not leave much room for subtle nuance in the performance, the drums could have been where the band really threw in a human element, and there is very little of that to speak of here. Instead, the percussion is kept incredibly basic, as if Zombi thought they may be chastised if they just threw in a little bit of dynamic or flourish that rested outside the rigid buildup of their compositions. While the drums here are fairly disappointing and could have been greatly improved however, the electronic component of 'Escape Velocity' is done very well.

Zombi's fourth album seems to me like the perfect example of an album that is good, but non-essential. While it is enjoyable and intelligent worth the first few listens, there simply is not enough going on with the album to warrant many more than a couple in-depth experiences with the record. Expect this album not to grasp the imagination for long; 'Escape Velocity' makes for a relaxing, albeit fleeting experience.

Review by J-Man
3 stars With 2009's Spirit Animal, Zombi moved away from their original synth and bass roots in favor of a more fleshed-out and symphonic prog rock sound. Escape Velocity proves that this newfound style was no more than a mere experiment, seeing that this album sounds very much like their older material. If you're a fan of rhythmically-busy progressive electronic music with dense textures and an energetic prog-rock feel, Escape Velocity is certainly something you'll want to investigate further. I find the album a tad too repetitive and unvaried, but it's certainly an acquired taste. Fans of prog rock focused heavily on ambience will find plenty to love here for sure.

The music on Escape Velocity sounds like it could have come straight out of the seventies. Zombi is obviously very fond of early progressive electronic music (Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and Klaus Schulze) as well as psychedelic prog rock like Hawkwind or Pink Floyd. Vintage synths, ambient song structures, and lush arrangements all characterize this observation. Zombi is a duo and plays completely instrumental music relying (on this album, at least) mainly on digital instrumentation. There may be a lack of a "human touch", so to speak, but that droning meditative atmosphere is probably what will make this release so appealing to most listeners. I personally crave music that is a bit busier and less repetitive - most of the songs here only consist of one or two main ideas, and slowly build into a climax at the end of the piece. Zombi does a superb job at making these songs as powerful as possible, though, and I find myself enjoying the entire album. I would've liked some more variation in the arrangements, but considering the album is only a mere 33 minutes, Escape Velocity never feels monotonous or anything like that.

Escape Velocity is a high-quality product with memorable songs, a terrific vintage-sounding production, and great ambience. Fans of Zombi that were scared away by the full-on prog arrangements of their previous album should find plenty to love on Escape Velocity. This release is a bit too short and repetitive for me to consider it excellent, but it's still a very solid effort worthy of 3.5 stars. Fans of energetic progressive electronic music should definitely give this one a spin.

Review by stefro
4 stars Pretty much a straight dance album replete with complex progressive synthesizer flourishes and an upbeat tempo - think of the 'Drive' Soundtrack crossed with French hipsters Justice and the crystalized streaks of Tangerine Dream's late-seventies and early-eighties output - this fourth effort from the American space-rock duo of Steve Moore(bass, keyboards) and Anthony Paterra(drums, percussion) exhibits a slicker, almost soulful new sound influenced less by progressive rock and more by the retro 1980s vibe of modern hipster pop. However, that's no criticism; this is a great album, especially so for those who don't mind the occasional dose of modern dance to go with their King Crimson's and their Genesis', acts such as Boyz Noise, Digitalism, Daft Punk and, of course, the aforementioned Justice. And this bold new streak positively hits pay-dirt on the album's final, killer track, the glistening 'Time Of Troubles', a softly-pulsing six-minute joy opus of dazzling techno-prog that could - and should - be a great deal longer. Harder sound are aroused elsewhere, just check out the pacey opener 'Escape Velocity' or the downbeat menace that pervades the grimly-monikered 'Shrunken Heads', yet the neon-lit keyboards are never far away. Fans of 'Larks Tongues In Aspic' and 'Third' may find it all a bit commercial, and that's true, yet this is smarter sonic design than many may initially think. The quality of the sound is the real key, however, and the combination of outstanding production design and slickly-realised pop- dance ambitions have melded nicely on this thoroughly unexpected success. Without a doubt, this the twosome's strongest release yet. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars Zombi have so far established themselves as one of the finest groups to create retro-tinged electronic krautrock in the 21st century, and Escape Velocity, which I've inexplicably been procrastinating writing a review for, further cements my high opinion of them.

On their previous album, Spirit Animal, Zombi went for a more traditional synth-led classic symphonic prog sound, whether it was intentional or not, and it worked very well and gave a lot of people who were more accustomed to classic symphonic prog a high-quality introduction to their discography. While the stylistic change on the previous album worked very well, I personally was hungry for more of the modern energetic post- Berlin school type sound that Zombi had been known for. Fortunately, the krauty sound is back on this album.

Compared to the first two albums, Escape Velocity seems to have a slightly increased energy and displays the group's sense of experience, which is obvious from the moment the title track starts of the album with a forceful synth sequence and very powerful drumming. Though A.E. Paterra's pounding percussion is never technical, it is very strong and gives the music an impressive energetic boost. The next track, "Slow Oscillations" (also released on a free remix EP), is absolutely magical, featuring a hard-hitting and steady beat from Paterra and sharp synth sequences and a melody that is mystical yet heavy and dark like some kind of archaic stone carved beauty. My only complain is that, at just under 3 minutes, this song could've been stretched for longer, but it is still a wonderful atmospheric track.

"Shrunken Heads" is a mid-paced, late-night racing theme set in the big city, similar to the music on Tangerine Dream's Exit but is actually stretched out long enough to develop and swell, ultimately being more satisfying. "DE3" is my personal favorite track of this album; it's got a heavy bass beat with a very high soaring, triumphant sounding synth melody that really makes me feel kind of emotional and hopeful, but the song shortly progresses into slightly darker territory quite effortlessly before climaxing. Equally emotional, albeit slower, "Time of Trobules" finishes the album with a murky pace but also with more soaring, triumphant synth melodies.

It is worth mentioning that the synth sounds that Steve Moore uses on this album is a mixture of the best of the classic '70s sound with the best of the '80s sound (removing the cheesiest elements from the '80s), which works very well for this band and, combined with A.E. Paterra's heavy drum style, makes their sound stick out. It's classic sounding, yet unmistakably modern in a way that probably won't make Mr. elitist grandpa prog fan so angry.

A lot of Berlin school music tends to get a lot of flack for being boring and uneventful, and I have to admit that sometimes it definitely is, but "boring" is a title that can't be easily applied to Escape Velocity, which is basically a heavy progressive rock album led entirely by beautiful synth melodies and rock drumming. The biggest complaint that I have with this album is that it is too short, just over 33 minutes). Maybe they'll pack more music into their next full-length album, but this album is infectious enough to tide over Zombi fans until then.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Escape Velocity" is the 4th full-length studio album by US electronic/ambient music act Zombi. The album was released through Relapse Records in May 2011. Relapse Records is mostly known for being the home of extreme metal acts of various flavours, but in recent years theyīve begun to sign artists from other genres too.

The music on "Escape Velocity" is a relatively simple type of electronic/ambient music. Itīs repetitive and slow building. Often with longer parts with only a steady simple rythm figure and sequencing synths playing the same motif over and over again. Usually after a while a simple melody is played and sometimes more synth layers are put on top. The music is pleasant and easy on the ears but sometimes also a bit too close to sounding like muzak for comfort. Zombi tread a fine line here but thankfully they mostly keep on the right side of it.

The album is well produced and the musicianship is decent, but "Escape Velocity" is not exactly an album that blows me away. The tracks donīt really stick and it is in the songwriting department that the group could get better. Itīs not a bad release either though and I do on occasion enjoy the album as background music, but to my ears this is not "listening" music. Still a 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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