The mysterious Zenmenn describe their debut LP, Enter The Zenmenn, as “dualistic fusions” and there is certainly an element of West meets East in the music that they make. I was wondering if they actually took their name from the spaced-out zither-like zings and chimes that they employ – as they arrange these Asian tones in ECM-esque, electro-organic, jazz shapes. Listening to the opening piece, The Magic Eye, I was imagining somebody current, say Visible Cloaks, covering someone, for example, Oregon, from the ground-breaking German label`s `80s heyday. Flags Of The World is more overtly Oriental – it could easily alongside Osamu Kitajima`s Sei. There`s a track titled Bamboo Garden, which, like half of the album, is a proper song. A duet for guitar and voice, accompanied by short voice-boxed harmonic flights, and recorded at a lullaby’s lilt. Likewise Homage To A Friendship and Salad Bar both sound like FM radio soft rock, re-synthesized and reimagined for millennials. The latter is full of Tommy Guerrero skater cool, summoning summers surfing drained L.A. pools and youth`s perennial sunshine.
Stairway To Heaven is not a Led Zep cover – not even close – but instead a sonic approximation of the stars worthy of Eno & Lanois. A deep blue daydream drift, set to slow syncopation. The closing cut, Topaz, is around 9 minutes of “ambient boogie”. Its fine Brazilian rhyming dancing, gently percussive, but stripped of drums. This buoyant beatlessness eventually falling away, as it drops to a final movement of serene, silicon, strings.