Hear The Track HereI could have sworn that I have reviewed something from Zone Music alter-ego Humachine in the past, but maybe its the lack of brain cells making me my usual delusional self, who knows and yeah, who cares too? The reason I say this is because this is only the second Zone Music track I have reviewed, the first being a very handy slab of funky electronica (I kid you not) called Shaper (July 2009). Considering that Zone Music has been very active on Soundclick in general and has some 346 tracks on his page (again I kid you not), you would have thought he would have been as well known to you readers as (say) Thomas J Marchant, 333maxwell and to many others to mention. All of them, I rush to mention, apparently welded to my monthly sign up thread.
Not that I am advocating Zone bury me under a deluge, after all his main genre is electronica and sometimes that can make me well crabby. However, if I went by the calibre of tracks like Shaper and Willingly, it wouldn't matter what genre he worked in. What I like most about this reveiwing hoohaa is to hear a musician playing and performing with confidence because - for me - anyone can talk about how good they are, few can prove it. In that respect, I'm all for bigging up yourself, but be sure to have something to be backing that statement up. Different, fresh approaches are a good start, and a willingness to do things that - at first glance - don't seem right at all. It only becomes clear with familiarity.
Willingly isn't a track that bursts full blown into your brain, you have to work at it. It has a dense, almost wooly production that doesn't help, but it becomes clear why this is so (and intentional) Moreover, it isn't strictly electronica either, although obviously the main elements are. Where it scores with me is in imagination and an inspired use of odd sounds to breathe life into an awfully tired sub-genre; the ballad. Electronic ballad??? You may very well splutter wtf! wtf! but I know from whence I speak and, believe me, I'm well impressed. OK, hand on heart, I can't stand the dull headache-inducing plod that introduces the track and if it were merely that kind of thing, these walls would be covered with blood. The musical and vocal layering Zone puts over this insanely pedestrian backing lifts this to a whole different level as do the endless little production tricks and sleight of ear and dammit, the man is even using a fragment of The Beatles to devastating effect. What's not to like?? OK, the ballad thing, but come on, we can't all be perfect...
Highly Recommended inventiveness.