beyond the border
..........................................................................................................................

ZWEIZZ & JOEY HOPKINS

Zweizz & Joey Hopkins

Release:  Spring2011 (LP 22/3)

Label:  Jester Records

Avantgenre:  Golem Core

Duration:  35-40 Min

Origin:  Norway & USA

Official site:  http://www.myspace.com/zweizzmusick

Review online since:  30.03.2011 / 17:51:40

.........................................................................................................................................................

There is so much that needs to be said about this album. A collaboration between two of the avantgarde-metal underground's most intriguing and creative actors, Norwegian old-timer (sorry!) Svein Egil Hatlevik of ZWEIZZ (+ Fleurety, DHG etc) and US up-and-coming Joey Hopkins, known for his MIDGET FACTORY. The collaboration was announced, work commenced, and everyone expected an aural mindfuck deluxe. Then, tragedy struck, Joey Hopkins left the planet much too early, leaving Svein Egil to either ditch the project, or finalize it with what Joey left him. This is all detailed in the liner notes, but fortunately, he took the hard road and finished the album, seeing the light of day on Jester Records now, almost two and a half years after Joey Hopkins' passing. This isn't so much a eulogy, but a testament of Hopkins' skill and imagination; "you can't make a classic record with the same look in your eyes you'd have putting flowers on a grave" (quoting the liner-notes).

Anyone familiar with ZWEIZZ' Yawn of the New Age debut (also on Jester) or Hopkins' previous works should be fairly prepared for what attacks you once you press play. An aural mindfuck deluxe it is. The songs are comprised by zillions of sound sources, from organic acoustic instruments and voices more or less distorted and recognizible to computer-generated noises and programmed, well just about anything. It's all thrown into a pot, shaken, broken, disturbed and disjointed into a new dileneated logic, defacated into a brand new form that, in its own perverted way, makes sense. Structured surrealism rather than nonsensical dadaism - it's not just weird for weirdness' sake (even though many - most - probably only hears an idioitic ramble with some melodies), but actually saying something.

What it is saying, this album, is at the heart of it something rather sad, in all the confusion and bizarreries. Hidden in the brazen distorsion and twisted electronica, from pleasant IDM to abbrasive terrorcore and complete noise explosions are some very beautiful and melancholic atmospheres and melodies, hinting of the sombreness of AUTECHRE and late ULVER, perhaps. Kris Rygg does guest vocals on "The Goat" and Carl-Michael Eide on "No Clue", both representing two sides of being human that is constant in most of Svein Egil's works - the former the feral, perverted side, the underbelly of everyone ("Say it - I am your mother"); the latter a world-weary, long-lived sadness. I have to admit that these two songs make up the apex of the album, much credit due to the fantastic vocal inputs, but not only, they are the "hits" of the album so to speak.

Note that this is as much a collaborative effort as they come - besides the noted guest musicians (on every track, almost), it is all Svein Egil's and Joey's work, no division between songs or sounds. Equal measures. It is a difficult album. I appreciate it, the work behind it, the creativity and vision of both artists. Is it something I will keep returning to, feel an urge to hear each and every day? Probably not. But that hardly matters; what matters is what this album is. And it is what it is.

(Note again, that I have only heard the vinyl version, which lacks a song or two from the cd version - marked with asterisks below, imported from the J-rec newsfeed. They might actually not be on the CD version at all. Good call - better make cd exclusive songs, than throw out a double vinyl with 12 minutes per side just to allow a decent mastering...)

aVoid



TRACKLIST:

1. Eternal Puberty
2. DWill To DPower / Tomorrow
3. Black Strobes
4. Bimor Bibmoj
5. Smash, Politics, Gag
6. Porcelain Dolls In The Bath
7. The Goat
8. Armies Of General Nonsense *
9. How We Ate The Flesh
10. No Clue
11. Compulsar Massive *

 

[ Back to the articles]