Heteronomy by ZeitgeberRelease date: March 18, 2017
Label: Art As Catharsis Records
Hi all, my name’s Anthony and this is my first review for Echoes and Dust. For today’s review we have the super cathartic release from a refreshingly unclassifiable duo out of Sydney, Australia called Zeitgeber. Released last month, Heteronomy is the band’s debut release and sonically is driven by handpans, clarinets and a myriad of electronics to create what the band describes as a mixture of “psychedelic, ambient, world and electronic music”, which is yeah, pretty much on the mark, but I’ll get a bit more into that further into the review.
On their debut release Heteronomy the polyrhythmic electro world grooves on display wade through the band’s deep fascination with the deep inner workings of the human mind from a spiritual perspective. The album is strewn with fascinating references to spirituality and the mechanics of perception itself and the music is just bullshit cool. It reminds me of the first time I heard stuff like Stereolab, just so immersive in a totally unique way. It harnesses the atmosphere that more “chilled out” music creates and allows multiple other influences (musical and otherwise) to modify the sound.
Throughout the release you’ll hear multiple acoustic and electric sounds blend and pop in and out to create a truly broad array of sounds, the way the sounds blend is done in such a considered way in that acoustic sources (like the Kalimba on the track ‘Circadian Rhythms’) are so well processed with washy verbs and stuff that they integrate seamlessly with everything else. Where this becomes really enjoyable is in assuming that, this band clearly has a lot of tricks up their sleeve, and something that might seem on surface level to be quite simple is actually bafflingly intricate in its textural arrangement.
Complimenting that is the rhythmic component that creates the backbone of truly dazzling moments in this album. It’s so so hard to describe the feeling that comes with the rhythmic component being so prominent and so complex in this realm of music, it’s just a cathartic wash, it’s like it disables a part of the brain that is so affixed to driving rawk drum bullshit (even outside of band genres), the interplay between each instrument rhythmically is to my ears just so enveloping, it’s like hearing a master ambient maker at work. The only band I’d heard do something so similarly in meticulous was the long forgotten Warp Records influenced Golden Blonde. Albeit they were never aiming for the intelligence in content that Zeitgeber delivers.
Worth mentioning is the fact that (and I’ve written this on other sites before) it’s great to have a band do their thing in the alt scene in Australia without compromising on musicality to be a part of the DIY thing. Art As Catharsis (who released this record) has a fucking tonne of amazing bands on their roster of a similar ilk that are seriously setting a great standard for what can be achieved in a punk mindset without playing simplistic music.
Also worth mentioning is a lot of bands use mixed fusion genres to describe their ultimately bland music or crams a variety of sounds in to seem diverse (a lot bad bungle genre jumping bungle clones do this). This band is thankfully not in those categories. Every nuance, every inspiration is well placed and balanced so as to create something (as I said before) was wholly unclassifiable. I’ve also said this before but I’ve always been of the opinion that when you are truly mixing sounds in obvious and non obvious ways with a strong disregard for sticking to the archetypal qualities of genres that offer like, a lizard brain style comfort? And when you are putting that ambition in your creative process as a driving force, THAT, is when you get to the most personal and interesting music that speaks to the true nature of music, sound, art and errrrry thing in between. Accept no substitutes.