Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Uncommon Structures in Music's Mixed Bag

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Uncommon Structures in Music's Mixed Bag

Article excerpt

SZA, Zeitgeber, the Jonathan Moritz Trio and Dead in the Dirt have released new music.

There's a mess of feelings in the songs of the young semi-R&B singer SZA, real name Solana Rowe: dreamy, wise, prickly, love- struck, diligent, oblique, bummed out. She has been signed by TDE, Kendrick Lamar's label. Her music has been coming forth on a series of EPs: one from April called "S," the next called "Z" to be released in mid-September, and "A" apparently coming before the end of the year. A lot of it is available at soundcloud.com/justsza, which draws a broad sample from the cool present: menacing trap beats, ambient echoes, blurry atmospheres, pleasure-pain dichotomies. Her songs have grace in uncommon structures, and she's aware that she's complicated: "don't come close/you don't even know me" goes the refrain of "Teen Spirit." One of the newest tracks, "Julia," at first sounds like 1984, a moment-zero time when Prince was the best rock star, Madonna and Shannon had urgency and romantic depth, and the golden age of hip-hop recording hadn't quite got going. The track is up-tempo and sweet. And the beat changes two- thirds of the way through, and "Julia" turns into another song, radically slow and resigned. "Funny how life is turning out," she murmurs. "Not that much to talk about."

The European techno producers Speedy J and Lucy -- one known for brighter music, one for darker -- have combined to make danceable music under the name Zeitgeber with a near-erasure of beats. It's there in polyrhythmic traces, in subtle and layered digital stitching along the spine of a track; otherwise, the songs on "Zeitgeber" (Stroboscopic Artefacts), their self-titled collaboration, are quiet, ghostly and deeply textured. They sound almost natural, like the combinations of repetitive sounds you hear in a typical city, but slightly more massaged and organized. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.