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CD Feature/ Z'EV: "Production and Decay of Spacial Relations/Reproduction and Decay of Spatial Relations"

img  Tobias

It is late 1981. Z’EV brings boxes with copies of his first album “Productions and Decay of Spacial Relations” over from Holland to New York City. There is a shop there, called Bleeker Bob who keeps asking for more. “This is the best industrial record ever and I sell it to every Japanese buyer who comes into the store”, the owner tells him. The year passes and the album quickly sells out. Z’EV goes on to become an icon of the very Industrial movement Bleeker Bob talked about, with an array of drums and a simple yet all-encompasing philosophy: The world is sound and music is rhythm.

It is early 1981. May 12th to be exact. Z’EV and the people of Backlash recordings, including a certain MvdL, who takes care of recording and mixing, are in the studio. What else is there? A selection of metals and other percussive objects, most likely, Effect processing devices for sure. Four tracks are recorded that day, three more on the next. The result are short pieces around the four minute mark, based solely on beat cycles, harsh and raw sounds, the reverb of steelen cathedrals and aleatorically shifting patterns. Extracts is what they appear to be conceived as, exposed drum solos ripped from the band contexts is what they could be compared to, hypnotic and subtley folded into themselves is what they are. Z’EV builds machineries of interlocking loops, organically breathing lungs of tar and dust. This could be mimicry, as close as some parts come to the huffings and puffings of trains, steamrollers and assembly lines, if it weren’t for the fact that they are not trying to imitate anything. Rather, it is almost as if the magnetic power within the drumsticks of this man are capable of alligning the metallic splinters into self-sustaining bodies. On “Vuur Uur 2e”, the rumblings disassemble into a huge blackness, where everything is vastness, infinity and ominous murmur and on “Ook uit”, amost machine gun-like flares flash over the trampling of invisible hooves. The dream of the machine, turned into flesh.

May/June 2005. Z’EV reworks the mastertapes. The moods become less majestic, more refined, yet equally alien. Details rise up to the surface, reveal subtleness and vulnerability. The effect is a collection of more spacey, drfting, shimmering tracks. We imagine him sitting back in his chair and cherishing the moment. Ahead in his future, in 2006, Bremen-based label “Die Stadt” will re-release the album and the new versions on a CD packaged in a replica of the original vinyl cover and even add a bonus disc with archival discoveries from the year 1982. But until then, there is still a little time to revel in the memories of how “the best industrial record ever” has kickstarted an impressive career and maintained its freshness and energy over all these years.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Z'EV
Homepage: Die Stadt Records

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