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ZZT Partys Over Earth Review

Album. Released 2011.  

BBC Review

A wayward, daft and delirious LP, brilliantly unlike anything else out there.

David Stubbs 2011

Whether they mean "an end to the party" or a cross-planetary outbreak of partying, the title adds to the grand pantheon of rock and pop misspellings. But that's the worst that can be said about the debut album by Munich-based producer Zombie Nation (Florian Senfter) and Canadian DJ Tiga James Sontag. Although their sonic armoury is ostensibly familiar to the point of kitsch – heavy Moog, stuttering Rapido-style editing, 303s and a general air of avatars in an 80s computer game engaged in a mass wig-out – there is really nothing quite like this out there, in terms of its waywardness, its daft, delirious intensity. It's as if they've torn back the boards on the dancefloor to expose the jubilantly naked pulse of the electrical wiring beneath.

Opener Where Is the Captain is barely recognisable as dance, with its rapid-fire, linear player-piano sequence and upturned bucket tom-toms. It gives way to Rock the Peace, whose Moog careers about the track like a drunk Formula 1 driver on a speeding spree. On Partys Over Los Angeles, a 303 buzzes like a fat bee avoiding the attentions of a stabbing cattleprod. Nickel and Dime features uncharacteristic, rap-like vocals over what sounds like a malfunctioning, hiccoughing Super-8 reel. The Worm is quite possibly the nearest that synth sounds have come to date to simulating the condition of wetness – these rhythms positively splash at you out of the mix. Lower State of Consciousness, meanwhile, fires up the Moog like a chainsaw, burying right into the marrow.

Vulkan Alarm epitomises the virtue of this album as a whole, scalding and hosing from the speakers as it systematically extracts every last fluid ounce of juice, every last volt of crackle from the equipment available to the duo. For some, the gruelling physicality of Partys Over Earth will be a little too much – those who prefer their dance music to be less invasive, more processed. For the rest of us, this is meaty, beaty techno in the cyber-raw.

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