13 Track, LP (2012, Sensory Projects)
Related: No Zu.
This is a busy album. Hectic even. The debut from Melbourne's No Zu at times seems like an overturned buffet cart of post-punk and no wave percussion punctuated by yelping vocals, bold brass and a hyper approach to song structure. At first it's all a bit too much – what I imagine a Victorian College of the Arts party turns into at 2 am – but on further listen the sound collages and carnival nature of the music is actually a lot of fun. From funk to house and dub to slinky global music rhythms, everything leads to the dance floor. Yeah, there's a lot of floor tom going on. But then, there's a lot of everything going on.
No Zu is essentially the work of percussionist Nicolaas Oogjes, who, along with his former TTT bandmate Adrian Vecino and friends from bands such as Rat Vs Possum, has produced an album blasting with colour. I hate to say the word “kaleidoscope,” but the music is all bright prisms and kinetic energy. 'Prstn F'ever' is an exotic 30-second celebration of one of Melbourne's less exotic inner-northern suburbs. This leads into the album’s strongest track, 'Emotion', which could be lifted off Grace Jones’ ‘Warm Leatherette’, itself a song that brings to mind high cheek bones and white sand. Indeed, that's what makes Life so interesting and frantic. An instrumental ode to Preston and then the recording and production of Oogjes and Nao Anzai (Rat Vs Possum, City City City, Laura), which sounds like it could come from Compass Point.
Like Jordan Dolheguy’s Miami Vice-by-way-of-Picasso album art – all wine-cooler pink and peach – the songs burst out with a mind fuck/funk. The vocal delays and steel drums on 'Fa Foma Fi' bring to mind a Trenchtown version of Holy Fuck, while ‘Bust Body Move’ is both a song title and a directive. Detractors – including many of my friends – will lump Life in with “hippy poncho music.” But the fact is, the album is weirdly hypnotic and a strange beast of multitasking dance music.
by Tim Scott