The Zenmenn / Enter The Zenmenn / Music From Memory

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.

The Zenmenn`s Enter The Zenmenn is released on Friday. You order vinyl via Music From Memory, and digital over at Bandcamp. 

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